Dáil Éireann - Volume 514 - 17 February, 2000

Written Answers. - Defence Forces Equipment.

134. Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. [1210] 112 of 8 December 1999, the number of combat suits in disruptive pattern material in the various sizes which have been ordered with the respective companies mentioned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4787/00]

Minister for Defence (Mr. M. Smith): Further to my reply on 8 December 1999 to Question No. 112 which referred to combat uniforms, details of the number of combat suits in the various sizes ordered from the respective companies are as follows:

Item

Size

Westport Clothing Ltd

Westport, County Mayo

Quantity

Syntex NV

Belgium

Quantity

Smocks

Small

1,950

600

Medium

5,850

1,800

Large

4,550

1,400

Extra Large

650

200

Total

13,000

4,000

Item

Size

Westport Clothing Ltd

Westport, County Mayo

Winter

Summer

Syntex NV

Belgium

Winter

Summer

Trousers

30

650

1,650

200

1,000

32

2,600

6,600

800

4,000

34

4,550

11,550

1,400

7,000

36

3,250

8,250

1,000

5,000

38

1,300

3,300

400

2,000

40

520

1,320

200

1,000

Outsize

130

330

Total

13,000

33,000

4,000

20,000

135. Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Defence the special boots or clothing issued to members of the Defence Forces serving in the Balkans; the climate and type of terrain in which they operate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4789/00]

Minister for Defence (Mr. M. Smith): Members of the Defence Forces serving with the stabilisation force in Bosnia-Herzegovina – SFOR – the Kosovo Force – KFOR – the European Community Monitoring Mission to former Yugoslavia – ECMM – and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo – UNMIK – are issued with the current pattern combat operational boot. Those serving with the Organisation on Security and Co-operation in Europe – OSCE – are issued with an allowance to cater for the purchase of civil pattern items of winter clothing. During a recent period of extremely severe weather in Sarajevo the 50 personnel serving with SFOR were issued with Matterhorn boots. All personnel serving with the aforementioned organisations are also issued with thermal underwear as standard.

The new disruptive pattern material – DPM – field dress which incorporates a layered system of clothing has been given to personnel serving with SFOR, KFOR and UNMIK. Personnel serving with ECMM are required to wear items of clothing and uniform which are white in colour. The issue of clothing to these personnel therefore includes a cold weather parka jacket, white combat clothing and white gortex rain suits.

Defence Forces personnel currently serve in various missions throughout the entire Balkan region and accordingly the type of terrain in which they operate and the climate can vary considerably. However, winter conditions in the region can be particularly harsh. Every effort is made to ensure that the specific clothing issued to the personnel serving with each different mission is the best available and is suited to the operational and climatic conditions which are likely to be encountered.