P. Gajdoš: 2018 was the year of real modernization, 2019 ought to be the year of the soldier

From the perspective of the SVK Armed Forces, 2018 was the year of real modernization, whereas 2019 ought to be the year of the soldier. This message was conveyed by SVK Minister of Defence Peter Gajdoš at the Commanders Convention, which was organised today (5 February) at the MOD to take stock on what was achieved throughout the 2018 Training Year (TY).

Minister of Defence Peter Gajdoš said: “Despite the criticism being voiced against us, what is of most importance is the outcome. As we deliver on the Long-Term Defence Development Plan, our soldiers have received the first deliveries of new equipment, and more equipment has either been contracted or is being manufactured, and there are modernization programmes ready for the Cabinet to take a decision.” The minister took positive note of the balance that has been struck in modernising the SVK Army and the SVK Air Force. “And we are doing the same when it comes to keeping a balance between modernization and training,” he emphasised.
On personnel, Minister Gajdoš underlined that over the past year the MOD has adopted positive measures in favour of personnel, consider, for example, the 13th and 14th salaries or the hazardous duty pay, which was introduced by the MOD as of 1 January 2019. The measures have already borne fruit. “Finally, after years we can state that the total number of Service leavers is lower than the number of those enlisting in the Armed Forces,” he said. On security and defence, he reaffirmed that the direction of the MOD remains pro-EU and pro-NATO.
Visiting the Commanders Convention, President of the Slovak Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the SVK Armed Forces Andrej Kiska praised the persistent confidence of the public and politicians in the Armed Forces and the increase in defence spending. “We can have the most advanced equipment, yet without motivated, modern and quality soldiers, our Armed Forces will not function. Therefore, I am very pleased that 2019 will be the year of the soldier, as announced by Minister Gajdoš,” he said. He went on to thank all men and women in uniforms for looking on their profession not as a job but as a mission.

According to SVK Chief of Defence Lt Gen Daniel Zmeko, the key discussion of SVK Military Command revolves around the operational readiness of the SVK Armed Forces. “The good news is that we have managed to stop the gradual decline in operational readiness, which was here already a decade ago. We will continue in our efforts to reverse it. At the same time, we will perform the tasks that follow on from our commitments towards the North Atlantic Alliance and international crisis  management, as well as the tasks associated with the provision of SVK airspace protection,” he said.

Author: MO SR - KOd , Photo: MO SR - Ivan Kelement - Date: 05.02.2019
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