Department of Defence and Defence Forces Strategy Statement, 2008 – 2010 The Strategy Statement articulates the mission of the Defence Organisation, which is:
“to provide for the military defence of the State, contribute to national and international peace and security and fulfil all other roles assigned by Government.”13 The Strategy Statement outlines four high level goals as follows:
1. To provide for the defence of the State against armed aggression, by maintaining and developing appropriate military capabilities.
2. To contribute to on-island security and stability by providing, on request, aid to the civil power (ATCP), aid to the civil authority (ATCA) and other emergency and non-emergency services.
3. To contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security through participation in approved UN-mandated peace support, crisis management and humanitarian relief operations.
4. To provide the best possible defence policy advice and military advice to the Minister in order to support management of all aspects of defence provision and facilitate planning for future needs.
These goals are supported by four programmes, which are outlined in the Defence Annual Output Statement 2008. The Naval Service contributes to all of these goals and programmes.
2.3.1 Programme 1 - Contingent Capabilities
The Naval Service provides the maritime element of the State’s contingent Defence capabilities. The organisation, fleet, staffing and training of the Naval Service are focussed toward the delivery of a wide variety of naval capabilities including joint operations with both the Army and the Air Corps. The eight-vessel configuration provides the platform from which both military and non-military outputs are delivered as required by Government.
The armament and crewing of each vessel is outlined in Appendix 2.
2.3.2 Programme 2 – On Island Security and Support to Other Agencies.
In line with the Government decision toutilise and develop the Naval Service to contribute to the maximum to all of the State’s requirements in the maritime domain, Naval Service vessels operate in a multi-tasking capacity. This ensures the optimal utilisation of Naval Service assets and maximises value for money.
The Naval Service continues to direct approximately 90% of its patrol day output towards fishery protection. A draft Service Level Agreement (SLA) is currently being progressed with the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency. This SLA will formalise output targets for the Naval Service with respect to fishery protection.
In addition to fishery protection, the Naval Service also deliver a range of outputs on behalf of and to other State agencies and non Government organisations such as the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Irish Coastguard (IRCG), Met Éireann, the Marine Institute and the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII). These include providing a search and rescue response, pollution surveillance, dive support, training and advice, escort duties, meteorological readings and wildlife monitoring. A SLA was finalised with the IRCG in December 2008, which details the service to be provided to the IRCG by the Naval Service. Also in December 2008 a SLA was finalised with the Marine Institute regarding the provision of surveys, training and information sharing between the Naval Service and the Marine Institute. Other SLAs are being progressed with Met Éireann, Medico-Cork/Health Service Executive and the Central Fisheries Board. In addition, the Naval Service is provided for in SLAs the Department is establishing with the RPII and the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AIIU) in the Department of Transport.
The Naval Service provides expertise to the Department of Transport, Maritime Safety Directorate for the implementation and continuing evaluation of response to the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), as it applies to Irish Ports. The ISPS Code applies to port security and came into force worldwide in July 2004. In addition, the Naval Service is represented on the National Maritime Security Committee.
The Naval Service participates in EU security initiatives such as Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), Land and Sea Integrated Monitoring for European Security (LIMES), and Maritime Security and Surveillance (MARISS)
The Naval Service also undertakes tasks in ATCP and in ATCA. As part of the Joint Task Force on drug interdiction at sea, the Naval Service with An Garda Síochána and Revenue’s Custom Service collaborate to prevent the illegal smuggling of drugs. The Naval Service also performs security duties, as requested, for major high profile events in Ireland such as visits by foreign dignitaries. The unique characteristics of Naval Service vessels and crew have also provided the State with the capacity to pursue and detain vessels engaged in other potentially high risk illicit activities such as the illegal movement of weapons and ammunition. Naval Service vessels have also assisted in developing trade and cultural links with other countries through foreign visits.
2.3.3 Programme 3 - International Peace and Security
Naval Service vessels have supported the Defence Forces deployed on overseas peace support operations through deployment, re-supply and recovery tasks. Naval Service personnel also regularly serve on overseas peace support operations. In addition, the Naval Service provides military advice, where required, with respect to European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).
2.3.4 Programme 4 - Policy and Military Advice.
The FOCNS provides military advice in respect of Naval and maritime issues. Naval Service personnel are also assigned appointments in Defence Forces Headquarters in the Department of Defence. The FOCNS attends meetings of the high level civil/military Strategic Management Committee when issues relating to the Naval Service are being discussed.