Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna visited the 2nd Infantry Brigade on Tuesday, the development for which the 2018-2021 development plan of the Ministry of Defence's area of government calls for €90 million in spending.
Based on current plans, this money will be used primarily to strengthen the brigade's firepower, purchasing ammunition and weapons, as well as supplement leadership, communications and transportation capabilities.
According to Tsahkna, the development of the 2nd Infantry Brigade is turning into a central issue for the entire Estonian Defence Forces. "Over the course of four years, we will direct €90 million to the 2nd Brigade for the increasing of its practical defense capabilities," he explained. "According to the 10-year plan recently approved by the government, the brigade will also gain two more battalions or over 1,000 troops' worth of additional units. This means that we take the development of the 2nd Brigade seriously."
The defense minister found that the development of Nursipalu Training Grounds requires special attention as well. "The defense of Estonia must be practiced in actual conditions and all Southern Estonian units train at Nursipalu," Tsahkna said, noting that the EDF's 2nd Infantry Brigade as well as the Estonian Defence League's Southern Estonian districts, which consist of a total of 3,000 men and women in peacetime, all train for the defense of their local region at Nursipalu. "The development of Nursipalu Training Grounds is of paramount importance from a national defense standpoint," he added.
The Ministry of Defence is aware of the area's value in terms of nature conservation and has ensured that the EDF's training areas and nature conservation areas work together successfully. A number of studies have been conducted with the cooperation of environmental experts regarding the impact of the development of the training grounds on both the natural and living environment. According to Tsahkna, Nursipalu is the most studied training area and the studies' findings are taken into account as much as possible when planning and using the grounds.
Editor: Aili Vahtla