Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna was on a visit to the 2nd Infantry Brigade, for the development of which the four-year Development Plan of the Ministry of Defence calls for an investment of nearly EUR 90 million to cover the supplementing of equipment. The plan primarily consists of strengthening the brigade's firepower, by acquiring ammunition and armaments and complementing command, communications and transport capabilities.
According to Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna, the development of the 2nd Infantry Brigade is quickly rising to become the central question concerning the entire Defence Forces. “Over a period of four years, we will be directing EUR 90 million into raising our actual defence capability. According to the ten-year plan recently approved by the government, the brigade will have two battalions added to it, i.e. units consisting of over 1000 combatants. This means that we are taking the development of the 2nd Brigade seriously,” said Tsahkna.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the development of the Nursipalu training ground requires special attention. “The defence of Estonia must be practiced under actual conditions, and all South-Estonia units train at Nursipalu. Located within the area of the Nursipalu training ground is the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Defence Forces and South-Estonia Defence League districts: during peacetime, a total of three thousand men and women, all of whom train there to defend their homes. From the position of national defence, the development of the Nursipalu training ground is of critical importance,” stated the Minister of Defence.
The Ministry of Defence is aware of the assets of value in terms of nature conservation and is convinced that Defence Forces training grounds and nature conservation areas work well together. In cooperation with an environmental expert, a number of surveys have been carried out to identify the effects of training ground development on the natural and human environment. According to the Minister of Defence, Nursipalu is the most studied training ground, and survey results are taken into consideration as far as reasonably possible during the planning and use of the training ground.
In addition to the 2nd Infantry Brigade and Nursipalu training ground, the Minister of Defence toured the School of Combat and the warehouses in Luunja.
Photo gallery of the Defence Minister’s visit can be found here.