Dáil Éireann - Volume 673 - 04 February, 2009
Written Answers. - Reserve Defence Forces.
Deputy Ruairí Quinn Deputy Ruairí Quinn
Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Minister for Defence the progress made in regard to the commitment given in the programme for Government to fully execute the Reserve Defence Forces implementation plan by the 2009 target. [3517/09]
Deputy Willie O’Dea Deputy Willie O’Dea
Deputy Willie O’Dea: The White Paper on Defence 2000 outlines the blueprint for the Reserve Defence Force (RDF). The Reserve Defence Force Review Implementation Plan provides for the phased enhancement of Reserve capabilities over the period to the end of 2009.
In accordance with the Plan, revised organisation structures came into effect in October 2005. The Reserve has been re-organised along similar lines to the PDF with three brigades, a Reserve Defence Force Training Authority and a dedicated Naval Service Reserve. Improvements in clothing, equipment and training have been delivered. These factors were identified as being important issues for members of the Reserve, as well as being necessary to improve the overall capability of the Reserve.
The Implementation Plan provides for the development of an Integrated Army Reserve. A pilot scheme for the Integrated Reserve was run in 2007 and continued into 2008. Whilst numbers participating were disappointing, valuable lessons have been learned. Options for continuing the Integration pilot into 2009 are being considered.
In line with the provisions of the Plan, it is hoped that a small number of Reservists will be able to undertake overseas service in late 2009. The military authorities have identified overseas posts requiring specific skills that may be filled by members of the Reserve. The military authorities have sought expressions of interest from suitably qualified Reservists who have undertaken integrated training and are at an advanced stage in identifying Reservists who may be eligible and willing to apply for a small number of specified overseas positions.
Work on the necessary regulatory changes has progressed and terms and conditions of service are being considered. The Representative Associations will be consulted in the near future.
Recommendations with respect to the First Line Reserve are to be brought forward during Phase 2 of the Implementation Plan. Development of the First Line Reserve is included in the  Modernisation Agenda agreed with the Defence Forces Representative Associations in the context of Towards 2016 and will be advanced accordingly.
Question No. 144 answered with Question No. 126.
Dáil Éireann 673 Written Answers. Reserve Defence Forces.