Defence Forces Program Analysis

1924 words (8 pages) essay in Economics

03/10/17 Economics Reference this

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The Defence Forces Context


The Defence Forces is a Tri-Force made up of the Naval Service, Air Corps and Army encompassing 9500 all ranks. The organisation is a self-supporting environment involving internal administration, logistic, security, accommodation, transportation; recreation and catering which all contribute to the overall high inventory of the Defence Forces.

This research aims to provide a positive contribution towards the Defence Forces and its recoding programme, through carefully organised and controlled research, scrutinising relevant pieces of NATO and National legislation dealing with the codification process, conducting secondary research to compare different approaches, explore different methods and learn from other people’s experiences. Questionnaires on procurement awareness, knowledge and practices within the Defence Forces will be carried out to help provide data to contribute towards building a positive new recoding programme.

The National Policy and Waste Management Planning enforced by the Department of the Environment, & Community and Local Government (DoEHLG) have primary responsibility for waste policy and legislation (McCarthy et al, 2010) in respect of food waste management. It is imperative that the Defence Forces meet these legal requirements effectively as well as economically and environmentally.

Military Catering

The Defence Forces feeding plan entails a minimum of three meals per day at each of its installations throughout the country. There are currently eighteen installations occupied by the Defence Forces, in which sixteen of them provide a feeding plan with twenty six dining facilities between them. The feeding plan changes frequently and extra meals may be required due to operational or training requirements, which may require the feeding of troops outside of normal timings or at other locations by means of fresh food being transported in thermoports (containers that maintain food stuffs at recommended temperatures for long periods of time both hot and cold).

Cahill, 2010 said, when the operational situation dictates that it is not practical to provide fresh meals, the military utilise individual food packages commonly known as ration packs. The most common ration packs used are the individual ration packs which supply the soldier with a mixture of dry foods and retort pouches, as well as condiments and sanitary items for a 24 hour period. Ration packs are designed to be stored on the soldier’s personnel kit.

Fresh rolls or sandwiches may be required to be delivered to external locations where troops are operationally deployed or engaging in physical activities such as hill walks or range practices where it is not feasible to deliver hot food.

Therefore each of the twenty six dining facilities produces food waste both internally and externally. The quantity of food waste at this time is unknown, it will be sourced in the primary research and compiled and shown in the data analysis and findings. What is known, that it composes of both raw and cooked food materials which include food loss before, during and after meal preparation. It comprises of materials such as vegetable peelings, meat trimmings, spoiled or excess ingredients and prepared food such as bones, carcasses and left over dishes after service and plate waste. Education and training are the most effective tools to enable the waste management strategies as set out by the Defence Forces. This research document will add to the overall corporate knowledge of the Defences Forces and will aid any future evolution of the food waste system and its management.

Pestel and SWOT Analysis

“A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there” H. Stanley Judd.

PESTEL can be used alone or in combination with SWOT analysis. If combined, Pestel analysis is done first to provide a context for SWOT analysis (Basu, 2004). Pestle analysis delineates the broad environmental context that affects the business and the changes that occur in this context. SWOT analysis then interprets these findings to determine organisations’ strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities and threats (Needham et al., 1999).

Pestel Analysis of the Defence Forces Waste Management

PESTEL stands for – Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Environmental and Legal. PESTEL analysis is in effect an audit of an organisation’s environmental influences with the purpose of using this information to guide strategic decision making (CIPD, 2013). The following is a ‘PESTEL ANALYSIS’ of the Defence Forces under Waste Management.


The Defence Forces are not exempt from tax policies and pay Vat at 13.5% on waste material in accordance with Paragraph (viii) of the Sixth Schedule Irish VAT Act 1972 as amended (Revenue Commissioners, 2013). Effectively the Defence Forces have to achieve the same goals with 86.5% of the budget provided. Landfill levies with effect of July 2013 have increased to €75 per tonne (EPA, 2013); this cost will be passed on to the Defence Forces by the waste management company on all waste going to landfill. Health and Safety affects the Defence Forces through labour costs, payments for training courses, and personnel protective equipment (PPE). Other political considerations are trade restrictions, for example contractors must be in compliance with Government legislation, which leads to increased costs to the producer, which is labour intensive to manage and therefore insure the Defence Forces are completely government compliant.


The economic down turn in the Irish economy has resulted in the Defence Forces budget being cut. The Defence Forces are still required to dispose of the same amount of waste with a smaller budget. Inflation rates have risen from January 2007 to date by 7.2% (CSO, 2013) whiles the Defence Forces waste management budget has fall by 35% FROM 2011 to 2012 (Barrack Services, 2013).


Current society demands a greener and more environmentally friendly society, therefore practices of the past, such as incineration of waste on training exercises in external military installations has ceased. This has further increased the amount of waste the Defence Forces must now dispose of.


The Defence Forces is moving to online food administration which will cut down on the paper trail in offices which will drastically reduce the paper waste disposal budget. The segregation of food waste from general waste for composting and energy creation is a technology that eliminates landfill cost which could potentially create revenue and reduce disposal costs. These technologies are currently being developed internationally and could be utilised by the Defence Forces in the further.


There is an increasing emphasis on using more environmentally friendly practices and products. The Defence Forces can reduce their carbon foot print by food waste avoidance, reduction, recycling and segregating which will help in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions making it more environmentally friendly.


National legislation on waste management can carry high costs due to increases in levies and taxes applied to waste management. Health and safety regulations have an impact on the Defence Forces through safety measures; cost of training and providing PPE for its personnel, failure to provide these the Defence Forces could incur legal ramifications. Under National policies and strategies approved by Government in best practice and Waste Hierarchy, for the Defence Forces to be compliant Human Recourse (HR) have to supply trained soldiers of junior management and private operators. A junior manger in the Defence Forces can be paid from €37.000 to €40.000 depending on rank and service, an operator is paid €34.000, therefore with waste disposal being controlled in sixteen installations throughout the country the Defence Forces would have a total cost of €592.000 to €640.000 for junior managers and €544.000 for privates.

Defence Forces SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis – a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves specifying the objectives of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable to achieving that objective (Friesner, 2013).


  • Flexibility to redeploy staff as required to waste disposal.
  • Un-unionist work force.
  • Engineer budget to purchase waste disposal equipment.
  • Management are very supportive of waste disposal activities as they reduce costs.
  • Defence Forces personnel are qualified to train waste disposal personnel in Health & Safety and Manual Handling therefore only costing the initial instructor’s training.
  • Additional task to barrack services therefore no overall management additional cost.


  • No establishment for waste disposal therefore individuals working within waste disposal may have no training in this area due to frequent movement of personnel.
  • At management level there are no dedicated waste disposal managers within the Defence Forces, therefore it is an additional task to a barrack commander and must compete with all his/her other tasking’s for priority.
  • The reduction of funds in the budget for waste disposal.
  • Waste disposal is not being monitored or evaluated for cost reduction purposes.


  • Reducing Defence Forces carbon foot print therefore reducing our need to purchase carbon credits.
  • To turn the waste into energy and reduce the Defence Forces energy bill.
  • Engage in new technologies to reduce waste disposal costs.
  • To recycle and reuse and lesson the waste disposal bill.
  • Synergies with other Public Sector agencies to reduce cost through higher volume discounts.


  • Cost of waste disposal is increasing, while the Defence Forces waste disposal budget is decreasing.
  • Increases in waste disposal costs due to new legislation and directives.
  • Possible financial penalties if the Defence Forces fail to meet waste production targets.
  • Continuous Defence Forces budgetary cuts reducing and impacting on waste management.

Figure 1: SWOT Factors

Both ‘PESTEL and SWOT’ analysis, along with other tools, provide the Defence Forces a valuable insight into themselves, their environment and ultimately their future. By using these tools to examine the organisation both internally and externally, the Defence Forces can build a framework that will allow the setting of realistic and attainable goals as well as the strategies that will be needed to achieve them. Each of these tools is extremely valuable in its own way, and each reveals different information and leads to various courses of action. Depending on the organisations goals, only one may be required.

However, it is generally a combination of both PESTLE and SWOT analysis that provides the roadmap required to lead and guide you along the way. A good map provides you with a survey of the land and gives you a general sense of direction on how to get to where you want to go going.

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