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Applications for professional army drop by 50 percent in 2008

The number of applicants to join the professional army dropped last year by more than 50 percent compared to 2007, the Slovak Defence Ministry states in its Comprehensive Defence Evaluation for 2008 released on February 26.

The number of applicants to join the professional army dropped last year by more than 50 percent compared to 2007, the Slovak Defence Ministry states in its Comprehensive Defence Evaluation for 2008 released on February 26.

According to the Ministry this decrease in applications is influenced by improving salary conditions in the public sector, a declining trend in recruitment and a reduced number of departing employees, with 45 percent fewer professional soldiers leaving their jobs in comparison to 2007.

The Ministry’s goal for 2009 is to maintain stability and improve the quality of military personnel through adequate motivation and stimuli.

The Ministry informed the TASR newsire that by the end of 2008, there were as many as 551 members of Slovak Armed Forces active in five international NATO, EU and UN missions - the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, KFOR in Kosovo, ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNFICYP in Cyprus and the observer mission UNTSO at the Lebanese, Syrian and Israeli borders. Slovak soldiers are also active in NATO headquarters in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Another key goal for 2009 is the speeding-up of the Armed Forces modernisation process through “more effective procurement of key military technology, material, as well as communication and information systems.”

The Defence Ministry also wants to improve the care provided to army pensioners, veterans and their families. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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