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Military wants to raise number of troops to 30,000 by 2026

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Brno, July 27 (CTK) – The Czech military wants to raise the number of troops up to 30,000 by 2026, from the current 21,000, Deputy Chief-of-Staff Jiri Baloun told CTK on Friday, adding that the long-planned number of troops is 25,000 and further 5,000 will join the new units yet to be established.

These units are to deal with cybernetics, robotics and other technology branches, Baloun said during the ceremony of fresh graduates’ departure from the University of Defence.

The Brno-seated university is going to open a new study programme focusing on cyber security.

Baloun said that three years ago, the military had about 19,000 troops, which is 6,000 fewer than the planned 25,000, while it is short of only 3,800 troops now.

“In less than three years, we have reduced the gap by [raising the number of soldiers by] 2,000, and we go on in accordance with our plan,” Baloun said.

In the first phase, the military is gradually filling the vacant posts in order to reach the total number of 25,000 troops.

“At the same time, we will recruit additional 5,000 troops to fill the posts in the new units whose formation has been underway. As a result, there should be some 30,000 soldiers in the country,” Baloun said.

He said some 350 graduates from the University of Defence joined the military in recent years.

At the ceremony on Friday, the university was officially left by 114 graduates including one fifth of women.

A total of 252 graduates have completed or are to complete their studies of the university’s various study programmes in the school year 2017-2018.

The university has registered students’ increased interest in studies. A total of 1,600 people have sought enrolment for the next school year, which is an 8-percent increase year-on-year.

“We believe that the soldier’s profession is becoming prestigious and the young generation is becoming aware of this and approaching it accordingly,” University Rector Bohuslav Prikryl said.

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