Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD has announced details of a plan to reorganize the defence forces and move from a three brigade to a two brigade structure. There will also be a revised ceiling of 9,500 personnel in the Permanent Defence Force (PDF).
The reorganisation will see many personnel, currently employed in headquarters, administrative and allied support tasks re-deployed to front line posts. The two new brigades will be located in Cork and Dublin. The Minister also mentioned that while PDF numbers in locations throughout the country will not change greatly, functions will move between locations. The Minister also reassured that while four barracks were closed in March of this year, no further closures will take place.
The Minister added that while the re-organisation impacts on the administration and support for the Reserve Defence Force (RDF), the organisation of the RDF itself has not been addressed. The recommendations of the Value for Money Review of the Reserve Defence Force, due to be completed by the end of September, will take into consideration the revised PDF structures.
The Minister stressed that he “will ensure that the Defence Organisation remains at the vanguard of modernisation and reform” and added that the reorganisation “will enhance operational capabilities within a reduced resource envelope”.
While this reorgansation plan is immediate, the Green Paper on Defence, to be published towards the end of 2012, will address longer term defence policy.