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A €27.5m one-off for trucks
The Bundesheer will be granted €27.5m for acquiring about 100 trucks. This special, one-time injection of funds was planned be the previous government to counter lacking mobility and does not change the current budget. The Bundesheer still has to find a way to save €47m this year.
Bundesheer taking part in EUBG 2020-2
Austria is partaking in the EU-Battlegroup 2020-2 with a 600-strong Combat Service Support Battalion; its third participation after 2012 and 2016. The battalion is formed not from a standing unit but from smaller elements from all over Austria.
Back on stage is the idea to relax conscription criteria as an antidote to shrinking numbers of conscripts and community servants. These have been declining due to lower birth rates and slightly higher ones of those unfit for military service. Already debated in April of this year, the sudden end of the former ÖVP/FPÖ government brought these deliberations to a premature end. What the ÖVP is proposing now resembles part of the Swiss model: ‘fit without reservation’ recruits would be eligible for most positions in the armed forces and/or community service while those with limitations would be assigned as cooks, clerks and other rear echelon functions. It is unlikely, however, that the current interim government will weigh in on the debate, considering its plea to manage rather than reform.
Header image: Austrian Armed Forces /Anton Modersohn
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