On June 5 the Government of the Republic of Lithuania approved the Ministry of National Defence Personnel Increase Plan 2019–2028 which implements the long-term National Defence System Development Programme of 2018. The long-term development plans of the National Defence system approved by the Seimas and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania create conditions for a systemic development of the structure of the Lithuanian Armed Forces through synchronisation of manning, provision, upgrading and infrastructure development and needs with financing. This is a way to man the Principal Armed Forces Structure endorsed by the Seimas.
The number of professional military service soldiers is planned to increase from 10.9 to 14.5 thousand troops over the next decade. The number of National Defence Volunteer Force and other active reserve soldiers are expected to rise from 5.4 to 6.3 thousand. Also, increasingly more soldiers of the trained reserve are planned to be called in to refresh skills in various exercises and training events every year – the number is expected to grow annually to reach 3.9 thousand in 2028 from 1.4 thousand in 2019.
The number of Mandatory Initial Military Service draftees in a year is planned to increase from 3.8 to 3.9 thousand. The numbers of cadets and students of the Junior Officer Command Training Course at the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy remain the same – 320 and 610 respectively.
The quantity of personnel needed in the National Defence System has been established with regard to NATO recommendations and resource-based calculations to make sure no more than 50% of the appropriations for defence is used for maintaining personnel.
Photo credit: Sgt Spc Ieva Budzeikaitė