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Connect December 2017

Connect the newsletter of the Irish Defence Forces

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Your Defence Forces Newsletter CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM THE HEAD CHAPLAIN A Chairde, On entering a hotel recently I guess I should not have been surprised to see the Christmas Crib displayed prominently, right in the middle of the foyer. While waiting, I was heartened to notice the very positive reac- tion of people passing through. In these days when Santa hats, fl ashing lights, garlands and trees seem to be the most popular way of decorating for Christmas, it was refreshing to see the Crib and 'Jesus, the Reason for the Season' take centre stage. The Christmas story is really one of hope and love through diffi cult times. This year I invite you to take a look at the characters in the crib. What was life really like for them? It is important not to lose hope in our diffi cult times and to value family, colleagues and the wonderful contribution you make to Ireland and to peacekeeping. Christmas is always full of hope. It can off er us a fresh glimpse on our world, an opportunity to see things diff erently and with childlike eyes to ponder the wonder and mystery that is all around us. I am conscious that many of you will be serving overseas during this time of year. It is tough being away from family and even tougher again on family at home. The work that you do in helping people is important and I hope that you can remain cheerful and hopeful at this time. Military families make great sacrifi ces. To all who are serving at home or overseas during the Christmas season I say thank you for your service whether on land, sea or in the air and I also extend a big thank you to your family. To family and friends of deceased members of our Defence Forces, please be assured of my prayers at this time. May the souls of our serving and retired personnel, especially those who died during the past year rest in peace. Solas na bhFlaitheas dár n-anam- acha. On behalf of the Chaplaincy Service, may I wish everyone in Óglaigh na hÉireann, serving and retired, and your families a very Happy Christmas and every blessing for 2018! Go bhfága áilleacht na Nollag sonas ort go deo. An tAthair Séamus Ó Madagáin Ard Séiplínigh, Óglaigh na hÉireann God's love endures forever (Psalm 117) Rev Fr Seamus Madigan Head Chaplain to the Defence Forces J4 FOLLOW THE NUMBERS • Value of DF Assets : €583,000,000 • No of Care Packages sent to Pers overseas : 551 • No of transactions run annually on the MIF : 920,000 • No of Pers Deployed Overseas by DF Travel Offi ce J4 : 3931 • CRDT No of Pers tested : 1,187 • No of DOD codes managed by Log Ops J4 : 102,000 • No of DOD codes cleansed since 2016 : 85,000 HELPING US, HELPS YOU, DON'T FORGET Remember your Part : Monthly Close Procedure 4TH Working Day, An- nual Stock Taking Jan 15th February 2018, Data Cleansing. Defence Forces Support in National Response T he Defence Forces deployed 25 Army and Air Corps per- sonnel, along with two vehicles and two helicopters, in support of the national response to Storm Ophelia on Tuesday 17th October. 21 Army personnel and two vehicles from the 3rd Infantry Bat- talion were deployed to Kilkenny to support the local authorities in their response to Storm Ophelia. The Army personnel deployed assisted in road clearance and mobility tasks. Defence Forces also deployed two Air Corps EC 135 helicopters to assist ESB Networks in conducting aerial recces of power lines in the Midlands & South West. A further 12 Defence Forces personnel and fi ve vehicles were deployed the day before to assist with the transportation of HSE staff to their workplace in Kilkenny and to clear routes between Kenmare and Tralee. Defence Forces personnel, vehicles and equipment remained on standby to support local authorities and our communities. ACCESS TO PRIVATE MRI SCANS The National Executive of PDFORRA have decided to assist our members who are facing discharge by funding an MRI scan which can show that the medical reasons being given for their discharge have been rectifi ed or healed. To provide for the foregoing, the National Executive have initially dedicated a fund of €10,000 to support this initiative and intend to review this amount in the coming year, depending on the needs of our members. In order to access this scheme Members must be: 1. Fully paid up members for at least the previous three months. 2. Have been suitably referred for a scan by their Medical Offi cer or GP. 3. Facing immediate discharge due to being Below Defence Force Medical Stan- dards whilst awaiting medical treatment, or 4. Unable to Extend in Service whilst awaiting medical treatment, or 5. Unable to Re-Engaging in Service whilst awaiting medical treatment, or 6. Unable to Continue in Service whilst awaiting medical treatment. The MRI's under this scheme, which must be approved by PDFORRA in ad- vance, can be availed of in any of the 11 Affi dea medical centres nationwide. The Executive plans to be in a position to announce additional health supports for PDFORRA members in the coming months, which it intends to integrate with this scheme. Members can contact PDFORRA HQ, or a member of their District Committee, for information and assistance to avail of this scheme. Information taken from PDFORRA 'Information Circular No 37/2017'

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