Commander: Latvian army is much better staffed this year

The situation with personnel is much better in the National Armed Forces this year – in addition to the mandatory defense service, more than 500 soldiers have been recruited in the regular forces, said Leonīds Kalniņš, Commander of the National Armed Forces, in an interview with Latvian Television on November 7.

As reported earlier, the National Guard has also grown its numbers significantly over the past two years. 

Kalniņš emphasized that soldiers of the State Defense Service are also a big contributor to the NBS' numerical increase.

“They fit into our great family of armed forces, their professionalism and intensity will be a good addition to our troops,” the NBS commander said. “I can even boast - they are taking part in an international exercise in Austria with our professional service soldiers.”

Until December 1, young people may apply for the State Defence Service conscription of July next year, Kalniņš added.

With the introduction of the State Defense Service, the NBS also wants to settle a back-up system - creating back-up units that will increase the professionalism of reserve personnel. "At this point, reserve soldiers are exposed to our back-up system, that we are calling them out once every four years, they are on standby, but that's not how [the system] is structured structurally. This is the main topic that we have to work on within the next few years,” Kalniņš said.

The NBS commander said that next year's planned budget for the armed forces promises development. "The budget is balanced so that we get all the capacity we need as quickly as possible and as we work intensively we will put them in place, and train the staff we need. It will make us feel much safer," said Kalniņš.

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