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Displaying items by tag: Defence Forces

Ministers reports The Irish Examiner, have described comments by President Michael D Higgins that members of the Defence Forces should have sufficient incomes as “deeply unhelpful”.

Mr Higgins’s comments on Wednesday night caused widespread surprise, anger, and bemusement in Government circles yesterday over what was seen as “interference” in political matters.

As Fine Gael ministers, TDs, senators, and MEPs gathered in Garryvoe, east Cork, for their party’s think-in ahead of the Dáil’s return, Mr Higgins’s comments were widely commented upon.

“Of course they were deeply unhelpful,” one senior minister said. “We are trying to hold a public pay deal together with sticky tape and Blu-Tack. This will only heighten the pressure on us to loosen the purse strings even further.”

Speaking publicly, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed hit a most undiplomatic tone, saying he found the President’s decision to comment “quite unusual”.

The newspaper has more here on this ongoing issue. 

Published in Navy

In an announced from the Government an action plan to deliver a €10 million package to restore pay to members of the Defence Forces.

As RTE reports, the Government said the package will immediately improve the take-home pay of members of the Defence Forces.

Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said work on the high-level plan to implement the recommendations of the Public Service Pay Commission would begin immediately.

He said the Government was committed to making steady improvements in pay to public servants but only to the extent that they are affordable and sustainable.

Minister of State with responsibility for the Defence Forces Paul Kehoe said the package was recognition by the Government of the challenges of recruitment and retention within the army, navy and air corps.

For more from the launch by the Minister of the new package click this link

Published in Navy

It is expected that the Government will announce a new review of pay for up to 2,500 members of the Defence Forces with specialist or technical skills.

The move, writes The Irish Times, will be in addition to the proposed increase in allowances which the Government is set to announce this week as part of an initiative to address recruitment and retention problems in the military.

Ministers are expected to say that the review of military specialists’ pay could be completed within months.

Among those likely to be encompassed by such a review would be cooks, mechanics, technicians, fitters, carpenters, aircraft mechanics, military police investigators and air-traffic controllers.

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe is to bring proposals to the Cabinet for pay improvements for members of the Defence Forces based on the recommendations of the Public Service Pay Commission.

The Government is expected to announce a new review of pay for up to 2,500 members of the Defence Forces with specialist or technical skills.

The move will be in addition to the proposed increase in allowances which the Government is set to announce this week as part of an initiative to address recruitment and retention problems in the military.

Ministers are expected to say that the review of military specialists’ pay could be completed within months.

Among those likely to be encompassed by such a review would be cooks, mechanics, technicians, fitters, carpenters, aircraft mechanics, military police investigators and air-traffic controllers.

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe is to bring proposals to the Cabinet for pay improvements for members of the Defence Forces based on the recommendations of the Public Service Pay Commission.

The €10.1 million package of measures will centre on increases in allowances paid to members of the Defence Forces rather than rises in core pay.

Military service allowances, which currently range from €42 to €123 per week, would be raised by 10 per cent as part of a move to improve recruitment and retention of personnel under consideration by the Government.

Reductions in other allowances imposed in 2013 are also expected to be reversed as part of the package.

The patrol duty allowance of €48 per day for Naval Service personnel at sea would also be increased by about €5 under the proposals.

In addition, a loyalty bonus – which could be up to €19,000 – is expected to be put in place to encourage pilots to remain in the Defence Forces.

If approved by the Government, the increased allowances would come into effect immediately.

For more on the story including non-pay initiatives click here. 

In addition as previously featured Naval Patrol vessels including flagship LE. Eithne to be docked out of service due to staff shortage. 

Published in Navy

The Defence Forces are currently conducting surface live firing practice shoots off West Cork, as per Marine Notice No 12 of 2019.

The practice shoots from today, Tuesday 28 May, to Thursday 30 May are taking place in Danger Area D13, in the coastal area south-south-west of Cork between Seven Heads and Galley Head and to seaward from 8am to 5pm daily.

The Danger Area comprises the sea area contained within the co-ordinates. The co-ordinates of area D13 are as follows:

LatitudeLongitude
51° 34.12’N 008°42.36’W
51°20.12’N 008°34.36’W
51°17.36’N 008°48.48’W
51°31.42’N 008°57.06’W

For the periods while the range is active, this sea area is out of bounds to all vessels. A Naval Service patrol vessel will enforce the Danger Area D13.

All vessels are advised that they are required to remain outside of the exclusion zone whilst the range is active, and are also recommended to carefully monitor the Radio Navigation Warnings that will be broadcast during the firing period.

Published in Marine Warning

#navy - Irish Government must address the crisis in the Defence Forces which has now reached the point where its effectiveness is so broken that it can no longer guarantee the security of the State and its citizens, a protest march by former members of the Defence Forces has heard.

Almost 1,500 former members of the Defence Forces, writes The Irish Times, from the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service marched in the second Respect and Loyalty Parade through Cork city to highlight poor pay and conditions.

Parade organisers said 166 personnel left the Defence Forces in the first three months of 2019, while a high-profile recruitment campaign last year led to a net gain of just three and the overall number in the Defence Forces now stands at around 8,500, 1,000 less than the recommended minimum number of 9,500.

Retired Lt Col Dan Harvey addressed a rally in the Grand Parade, saying that it was a sad day when retired members of the Defence Forces felt they had to march to highlight the situation in which their currently serving comrades find themselves.

For further comments made by the retired colonel and more click here.

Published in Navy

#navy - The Irish Times writes that it is the breaking down of barriers which is central to what Mark Mellett sees as his role as Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces.

The obstacles are within the Defence Forces itself and between them and the outside world.

He believes that the way to penetrate these resistant mindsets is through strategic and mutually beneficial engagement with academe and the private sector, on the one hand, and also by the Defence Forces participating – in keeping with government-determined policy – in military initiatives further afield.

Having risen through the ranks of the Naval Service to senior command and taken part in several high-profile operations (including recovery work in the wake of the Whiddy Island oil ship explosion disaster and Air India jet crash off the west coast), Vice-Admiral Mellett, who has a doctorate in political science, began to think more than a decade ago about leadership on a larger playing field.

To read more comments from the Chief of Staff click here.

Published in Navy

#NavalService - Organisation that represents Defence Forces officers says it doesn’t have confidence that the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) will deliver much-needed pay increases for lowly-paid sailors, soldiers, and aircrews.

As the Irish Examiner writes, the warning from Raco (Representative Association for Commissioned Officers) comes after many hard-pressed Defence Forces families were forced to rely on charitable donations of food hampers to get them over the Christmas period.

Raco general secretary, Commandant Conor King, said little had changed for the lowest paid public servants since Nasa (National Association of Army Spouses) took to the streets 30 years ago to highlight the deplorable pay and conditions endured by military personnel.

Comdt King said Nasa’s actions gave birth to the founding of his own military representative association and that of sister organisation PDForra, which represents enlisted personnel.

He said the recent Respect and Loyalty parade outside the Dáil, organised by veterans, and the founding of the lobby group Wives and Partners of the Defence Forces (WPDF) showed that little had changed since 1998.

Click the link here for further reading on the story.

Published in Navy
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#NavalService - The Irish Times writes that the head of Defence Forces has sought to make a verbal submission to the Public Sector Pay Commission because of the seriousness of the military pay issue in the view of himself and senior colleagues.

Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Vice Admiral Mark Mellett declined to use the word “crisis” saying he preferred to say the military was facing serious “challenges”.

He was speaking on Tuesday before addressing the annual conference of PDforra, the Defence Forces’ rank-and-file representative body, in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

His remarks came in the wake of two Naval Service vessels being unable to put to sea last week (see Afloat's related coverage) because of crew shortages, and reservists being used to fill crew gaps on another vessel.

The problems prompted Vice Admiral Mellett and his assistant Chief of Staff, Brig Gen Peter O’Halloran, to hold emergency talks last Friday with the Naval Service Flag Officer Commanding, Cdr Mick Malone. For much more from the newspaper click here. 

Also the story appears in The Irish Mirror which adds that morale is at an all-time low in the Naval Service with 66 sailors staying on board their ships because they can’t afford high rental prices.

The revelation was made by Mark Keane, president of PDFORRA, the organisation that represents members of the Defence Forces. Mr Keane lifted the lid on the discontent in the ranks at the naval base on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour.

For further reading including comments made by the president also speaking at the conference held in Mayo, click here. 

Published in Navy

#Navy - According to The Irish Times, two Naval Service vessels were prevented from leaving their Haulbowline base last week due to crew shortages.

The LÉ Orla and LÉ Niamh were both kept at their docks while reserve members were drafted to cover shortages on the flagship LÉ Eithne.

Last week’s situation — linked to a reduced level of personnel retention — is a symptom of a bigger problem within the Defence Forces, The Irish Times reports, with one lieutenant colonel saying the command structure “is breaking down”.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Navy

#NavalService - The Irish Examiner writes of a damning report that highlights the reduced calibre of recruits in the Defence Forces, concluding that some had severe learning difficulties, others were extremely unfit, and one had been arrested numerous times by gardaí.

Some officers within the Defence Forces have queried vetting procedures as the report claims they were unaware of that person’s past until it was pointed out by another recruit.

Garda vetting is not carried out in many cases before recruits are inducted into training. This is because of the need to speed up recruitment to replace the haemmorage of highly trained personnel who are leaving the Defence Forces for better pay and conditions in the private sector.

Garda vetting of recruits can take between three and six months to complete.

For more on the newspaper's story click here. 

Published in Navy
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At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

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Messeplatz
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

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