Military's Struggle with Departing Professionals 'Resolved' ({{commentsTotal}})

Defense Forces Commander Riho Terras
Defense Forces Commander Riho Terras Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Introducing adjustments to the 10-year national defense development plan yesterday, Defense Forces Commander in Chief Riho Terras said the critical situation of an outflow of servicemen has been plugged.

In recent years, hundreds of professional members left the Defense Forces due to low salaries, many to take up security jobs in the private sector. In April, servicemen received the first sizable pay raise in years, of up to 20 percent, after slashes made during the recession.

Terras said the number of armed forces personnel is growing steadily, with a plan to expand by 50 members each year.

Meanwhile, Terras also plans to increase the number of conscripts from 2,500 to 3,200.

Among other recent and upcoming changes, the Defense Forces are increasing Scouts Battalion numbers and building new barracks. Also, in the second half of 2014, a number of military units will be relocated, requiring the restationing or retraining of 8-10 percent of servicemen. The moves will affect the infantry forces, the navy's base, Ämari Air Base and other bases.

The military's development plan for 2013-2022 was confirmed earlier this year.