Two weeks in Austrian Defence | July 23

In Blog, English by Bernhard Völkl

TWIAD is your bi-weekly, English-language briefing on national security and defence affairs in the alpine republic. The most relevant news reports, press releases, articles and announcements are recapped and, where necessary, put into context for greater accessibility. Feel free to get in touch and leave us your feedback and thoughts, ask questions in the comments or join the #TWIAD raucity on Twitter!

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.

Conscription criteria

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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About the Author

Bernhard Völkl

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Bernhard is a reserve officer in the Austrian Armed Forces and works in the technology industry.

About the Author
Chiara Libiseller

Chiara Libiseller

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Chiara Libiseller is a doctoral student at the Defence Studies Department of King’s College London and a Teaching Assistant at King’s War Studies Department. Her research traces the evolution of contemporary military concepts to understand broader patterns and fashions in the ways Anglo-American scholars and military professionals study and understand war. Her broad interests include military strategy, military history as well as Austrian and European defence.