The Naval Service is the State's principal seagoing agency with a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defence requirements. It is tasked with a variety of defence and other roles. Defence roles include defending territorial seas, deterring intrusive or aggressive acts, conducting maritime surveillance, maintaining an armed naval presence, ensuring right of passage, protecting marine assets and contributing to a blockade if required. The Naval Service must also be capable of supporting Army operations by sea lift and close naval support.
The following units make up the composition of the NAval Service
Naval Service Headquarters
Naval Headquarters (NHQ) is co-located with Naval Operations and Naval Support Commands on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour. The Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service (FOCNS) who holds the rank of Commodore, operates from NHQ
Naval Operations Command
Naval Operations Command is tasked with the conduct of all operations afloat and ashore by the Naval Service including the operations of Naval Service ships. The Officer Commanding Naval Operations Command (OCNOC), reporting to FOCNS, commands the operational resources of the Naval Service both afloat and ashore.
Naval Support Command
Naval Support Command is tasked with the support of the Naval Service afloat and ashore. The Officer Commanding Naval Support Command (OCNSC), reporting to FOCNS, commands the Personnel, Logistic and Technical support resources in the Naval Base, in order to enable the NS fulfil its Operational and Training commitments.
The Naval Service College
The Naval College is responsible for the training of all personnel in the Naval Service. The Commandant Naval College reports directly to FOCNS on all matters related to Naval Service training.