Defence Forces Welcome Historic Increase in Defence Budget
The Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Seán Clancy, welcomes the Government’s approval of a High Level Action Plan that sets out the Government’s response to the recent report of the Commission on the Defence Forces. Crucially, the Government have committed to increase the Defence budget from €1.1 billion to €1.5 billion, by 2028, in order to fully implement the Action Plan. This is the largest single increase in Defence funding in the history of the State.
The implementation of the Action Plan will require an additional 2,000 personnel (civil and military) over and above the current establishment of 9,500. Speaking at a press conference in McKee Barracks Lieutenant General Clancy highlighted that, “the early implementation of the key human resource initiatives outlined in the action plan will allow us to develop a better offering, better career paths for our people, support the retention of our experienced and skilled personnel and attract new personnel to join our ranks. This in turn will provide the foundation that will facilitate and support the implementation of the wider aspects of the Action Plan.”
Some specific initiatives included in the Action Plan are the procurement of an integrated radar system to enable situational awareness in the land, sea and air domains. A force redesign of the Army to ensure Army structures and capabilities are in line with international best practice and the establishment of the Office of Reserve Affairs to develop a Reserve Defence Forces regeneration plan.
Lieutenant General Clancy continued by emphasising the need for an agile, flexible and adaptive organisation, capable of responding to current and future challenges, saying, “the situation in Ukraine and that in the wider geopolitical and global security environment, points to an increasingly complex set of challenges in the world, characterised by very overt and more common breaches of the rules based international order; cyber-attacks on critical infrastructures; the impacts of climate change and many more. These threats all point to the necessity to have a ‘fit for purpose’ military and a clear approach to Defence and Security within this State.”
Lieutenant General Clancy concluded by thanking everyone who was involved in this historic process, saying, “I would like to put on record my gratitude to the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister Ryan, Minister Coveney and the wider Cabinet, for approving this Government memo and High Level Action Plan. I would also like to thank the Secretary General of the Department of Defence, Jacqui McCrum and her team, the representatives of other Government Departments as well as my own team, who worked on developing the action plan. Finally, I would like to thank the Chairman and members of the Commission on the Defence Forces for their work in highlighting the need and providing the framework for transformation of the Defence Forces.”
Source: Irish Defence Forces