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 Header Item Written Answers Nos 316-318
 Header Item Defence Forces Expenditure
 Header Item Defence Forces Personnel
 Header Item Air Corps

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 951 No. 2

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Written Answers Nos 316-318

Defence Forces Expenditure

 316. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny the Defence Forces budget and expenditure on cybersecurity in each of the years 2012 to 2016, and to date in 2017, in tabular form. [23781/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe As outlined in the Governments White Paper on Defence 2015, Cyber attacks have very significant implications for governmental administration, for industry, for economic well-being and for the security and safety of citizens. The response to cyber threats remains a whole-of-Government challenge, with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment having the lead role. The primary focus of the Defence Forces is the protection of Defence networks, for which there is a resource commitment. The Defence Forces have two personnel seconded to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT-IE) on an ongoing basis. A Service Level Agreement is currently being developed in relation to such supports to CSIRT.

For security reasons, it would not be appropriate to divulge details of the Defence Forces resource commitments to cyber security, which involve a combination of personnel, equipment and ICT resourcing.

Defence Forces Personnel

 317. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny the number of Defence Forces personnel assigned to cybersecurity in each of the years 2012 to 2016, and to date in 2017, in tabular form; and the ranks of each in each year. [23782/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe For security and operational reasons it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the specific cyber capabilities of the Defence Forces.

Air Corps

 318. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if, when an Air Corps CASA aircraft was refused entry into Swedish airspace, this was due to the fact the submitted paperwork completed by his Department failed to meet the necessary requirements of the Swedish authorities; if he will provide the requirements that must be met when filing paperwork for an Air Corps plane to enter foreign airspace; and the reason on this occasion those requirements were not met. [23788/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe As the Deputy will be aware, the Air Corps operates two CASA 235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, which are unarmed aircraft and primarily used for sea fisheries protection and maritime patrolling. They are also on occasion tasked with providing support such as military transport to the wider Defence Forces.  It is a condition of diplomatic clearance that the Air Corps pass details, via the Department of Defence, of each proposed flight, i.e., date, timing, etc. to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who forward the request for permission to the relevant country in question.  When military goods are transported by Air Corps aircraft overseas, they are listed in the diplomatic clearance application of the destination country. This information is used so as to ensure that, in the event of an in-flight emergency, the rescue and recovery services are alerted to the presence of said goods.

The Deputy will appreciate that the laws, practices and procedures in this area differ from country to country and that timelines for processing of applications can also vary, depending on the type of aircraft, the nature of the cargo and whether the aircraft in question proposes to land in or to overfly the country in question.

I can assure the Deputy that the usual procedure in obtaining diplomatic clearance for the Air Corps to fly was followed by the Department of Defence. However, there were delays in securing this clearance.  For security reasons, it would not be appropriate to get into the specific details.

I also wish to assure the Deputy that we fully respect the laws, practices and procedures of other countries with respect to the control of military aircraft in their airspace.  Similarly we expect other countries to respect our laws, practices and procedures with respect to the control of foreign military aircraft in our airspace.


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