SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) – On one of the last days of 2018 (28th December), the Bulgarian Defence Ministry published a summary information about a number of positive trends and results reported in the past year, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
Since 2012, for the first time the department reported that, in 2018, the number of soldiers joined the armed forces was higher than that of soldiers, who left the Bulgarian Army. At present, the shortage remains within 15-20%, but there is already a shortage reduction of the sergeant staff, as servicemen, who have completed training courses have been reassigned. As an example, the ministry points to 2012, when 1503 soldiers left the army, and only 176 young people entered military service, and in 2014, the number of people leaving had reached 1707, and those who joined were only 221.
The statement notes the 10% pay raise in 2018, which will be the same and for 2019, adding that it will be based on a new more just model – according to the workload and responsibilities of the people.
Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry also points that for the first time in 28 years, funds were allocated for the repair of the T-72 tanks – BGN 11 million, and for the construction and repair of the building stock and infrastructure of the military formations of the Land Forces, the Air Force, the Stationary Communication and Information System and the Military Geographic Service – BGN 30 million. In the past year BGN 10 million were provided for the needs of the Military Medical Academy and BGN 2 million for the military sanatorium in Pomorie.
In 2018, the Bulgarian government also approved serious funds for the restoring and maintaining the airworthiness of the Su-25 and MiG-29 aircraft – BGN 82 million and BGN 71.6 million respectively, as well as for the repair of the Cougar helicopters, Mi-17, Bell, Spartan, Pilatus and L-39.
Read more: Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers Has Approved the Investment Projects for the MiG-29 and Su-25 Repairs
The status of the companies of the Ministry of Defence tends to stabilize, with seven of them reporting a positive financial result for 2018.
A new housing program of the Ministry of Defence is in progress, which envisages renovated departmental housing in different regions of the country to be provided. Only in Sofia, about 110 apartments will be renovated.
In the past year, a project for providing modern equipment for the Bulgarian soldier has been launched, and some components are already being tested with the Land Forces. The procedure for acquiring new warships for the Navy is also in progress.
The Bulgarian Defence Ministry reports that in January this year, RFP will be sent to the companies, in connection with the project for the acquisition of new armored combat vehicles. The project for the acquisition of a new fighter also progresses towards its final phase, the statement adds.
In an interview with the Bulgarian National Television, the Chief of Defence, Gen. Andrey Botsev defined 2018 as a successful year for the Bulgarian Army. He pointed out that all the goals and tasks were met despite the financial shortage.
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Source: MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria