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Visit to Reserve Defence Force training exercise at Fort Davis, Training Camp, Cork
by Minister with Responsibility for Defence Mr. Paul Kehoe T.D.

Minister with Responsibility for Defence Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., today attended a robust Company Level Exercise in Fort Davis, conducted by 3 Infantry Battalion focusing on Operations in Built Up Areas, with personnel from both the Permanent and Reserve Defence Forces involved. The general exercise scenario consisted of a unit operating overseas with the United Nations, conducting patrols in a hostile environment.

Various serials were given to exercise Defence Forces Personnel by Directional Staff throughout the course of the day in order to assess their ability to work as a cohesive unit whilst under pressure. The exercise also incorporated humanitarian elements, whereby Officers and NCOs were assessed on both their tactical awareness and their ability to defuse a situation prior to its escalation.

Minister Kehoe said “following my visit today to Reserve training exercise at Fort Davis, I wanted to take this opportunity to complement members on their level of commitment and dedication as displayed so professionally today. That commitment is shown on a daily basis up and down the country when Reserve members volunteer their time and energy in training camps and parades. The Minister pointed out that “this proud tradition of voluntarism was witnessed recently all over the country at 1916 commemoration ceremonies and in the provision of aid to the civil authority during the storms of last winter”.

The Minister also stated “The White Paper 2015 reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the ongoing development of the Reserve Defence Forces. It also confirmed that the primary role of the Reserve is to augment the Permanent Defence Force in times of crisis and to participate in ceremonial events. I believe that the implementation of measures set out in the White Paper will provide opportunities for all members of the Reserve to ensure its long term sustainability and relevance. Which in turn will encourage more people to join the RDF as well as making it more attractive for current members to stay. Membership of the RDF provides young people with a unique opportunity to serve their country while also affording them unique life changing experiences.”

The Minister went on to say “I recently met with members of the Reserve Defence Force Representative Association (RDFRA) and was impressed by the dedication of the officials who work tirelessly on behalf of Reserve personnel. The relationship between my Department, military management and the Association is strong and professional and I know that great value is placed on this strategic and special relationship.

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