First Conscripts Drafted to Motorized Battalion
On Monday, 300 men began to serve 11 months in the 1st Infantry Battalion, including in the first ever motorized units manned by conscripts.
“As stated in the new Defense Forces development plan, we will increase the number and importance of armored personnel carriers, and conscripts will receive motorized vehicle training,” Lt. Col. Hannes Alesmaa of the Kalev Infantry Battalion said in a Defense Forces press release on Monday.
Alesmaa said the group of conscripts who arrived on Monday will be the first to use the PASI armored personnel carriers that have until now been reserved for professional soldiers.
The 300 men are part of a 1,600-strong July call-up of conscripts who will serve as drivers, specialists and junior NCOs for the next 11 months.
Five women have volunteered to join the conscripts.
A second draft will take place in October, and a total of 3,191 men and up to 16 women are expected to begin their service this year. Last year 3,406 men were called up, a 11-year high.