Altogether €96 million is to be invested in the infrastructure of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) over the next four years, it appears from the development plan of the Ministry of Defence's area of government for 2019-2022.
The money will be spent, among other things, to build the EDF's command center and a new compound for the Estonian National Defence College (ENDC) as well as the college's Centre for War and Disaster Medicine at Raadi in Tartu.
The infrastructure development plan also calls for continued development of military training grounds, construction of a new barracks building at the EDF's Jõhvi Base, renovation of the headquarters building as well as the construction of a residential building for personnel there.
In addition, new buildings will be erected in the next four years for the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) in Tallinn, the military police and the Navy. A new barracks for active service personnel of the all-professional Scouts Battalion will also be built at Tapa Army Base.
Other infrastructure objects to be built under the development plan include ammunition depots, hangars for hardware and structures to accommodate self-propelled howitzers and their support machinery.
Active military personnel to see pay increase
The development plan likewise envisages a pay increase of about one-third for those in active military service, bringing their wages to a level that is higher by one-third than Estonia's national average wage.
Commander of the EDF Gen. Riho Terras told reporters on Tuesday that the pay increase for active service personnel is one of the most important priorities in the development plan for him. Terras noted that the last major increase in the pay of Estonia's defense personnel took place in 2013, after which wages have only increased by as much as the consumer price index (CPI).
Minister of Defence Jüri Luik (IRL) likewise described the forthcoming pay increase as important.
Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence Jonatan Vseviov said that the EDF as an employer must keep pace with the labor market, where wages have been growing as of late.
Editor: Aili Vahtla