Despite ever-decreasing numbers due to a retention crisis, the Defence Forces managed to undertake a mammoth number of operations during the year, ranging from guarding visiting dignitaries to fishery patrols, bomb disposal, and airlifting seriously ill patients to hospital.
The army conducted nearly 200 operations in support of An Garda Síochána involving bomb disposal call outs, prisoner escorts, cash escorts, and search operations.
Meanwhile, more than 2,614 personnel were deployed on security operations for the visits of US president Donald Trump and US vice president Mike Pence.
Despite having two ships tied up due to crew shortages, the naval service carried out 780 boarding operations and detained 12 vessels for alleged infringements of fishing regulations. Its diving section was deployed for 26 operations including four separate search and recovery operations.
The Air Corps conducted in excess of 130 maritime surveillance patrol flights in 2019 and completed more than 233 emergency aeromedical services missions supporting the HSE in providing a medical service for seriously ill patients in isolated rural communities.
Its crews also provided 32 inter-hospital air ambulance service supports to the HSE in response to time-critical medical emergencies, of which 20 required patient delivery to Britain or mainland Europe.
The Defence Forces has the longest unbroken record of overseas service with the United Nations of any country in the world since first deploying to a UN mission in 1958.
This year, Defence Forces personnel served overseas on missions with the UN, NATO PfP (Partnership for Peace), EU, and OSCE peace support and security operations across 14 missions in 13 countries.
There are currently 595 Defence Forces personnel serving overseas. The largest Defence Forces deployment is in South Lebanon with Unifil, where 338 Irish personnel are deployed to maintain a safe and secure environment.
There are 138 personnel deployed with the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights, Syria.