Voluntary military service will be for one year. The Ministry of Defense will initiate a plan for the modernization of equipment, although this year the budget would be reduced by 5%.
The Minister of Defense, Patricio Zambrano, announced that since February, the convocation will be held for the conscription of women between 18 and 21 years of age who wish to comply with voluntary military service.
In addition, the quartering time will again be one year, unlike the 6-month cut that was ordered during the previous government.
“The increase was decided so that the soldiers that enter have an opportunity to specialize; We hope that in the next call we can count on women to be integrated into the construction of our Armed Forces.”
Zambrano clarified that the program continues to be managed as a service, “it is not mandatory, but it is the way society is introduced to its Army.”
The Minister, in a dialogue with newspaper EL TELÉGRAFO, assured that the institution will continue working with the same number of personnel. “We are seeing what the specific needs are and there is no projection of reduction of personnel; at the moment we have 42,000 troops.”
The official said that the support of the Armed Forces is guaranteed with the budget assigned by the central government, which ensures the payment of wages, called current expenditure, as well as the investment.
He clarified that although in general the budget of all the ministries has been cut, “we hope that the budgetary proforma will be approved soon in the National Assembly, with which the cut will be of 5% total, but in the expenditure of investment”, he assured
However, Zambrano said that President Lenin Moreno is underpinning the strengthening of operational capabilities. “We have talked with the military high command to structure a proposal for growth and modernization.”
For this reason, the necessary resources will be allocated for the subject of equipment, armament, “supersonic aviation incorporation; we’ve talked about all that, but let’s see how far the blankets reach.”
The main thing at the moment is the renewal of equipment, such as helmets, backpacks and vests. “The last time this type of acquisition was made was about 20 years ago and those elements need to be updated.”
Zambrano pointed out that the different branches of the Armed Forces are clear about the role they play in the defense of sovereignty.
But they also complement their service with other support tasks, such as the fight against drug trafficking, the defense of the environment, the fight against smuggling, illegal mining, “strengthening the citizenship-Armed Forces relationship”.
In 2015, a cooperation agreement between the military and the police was signed, which is why, according to Zambrano, work was carried out in operations centers coordinating the fight against crime, “which is an obligation of all for the good of the country.”
He said that in the institution they live a moment of dialogue, and that “that is why reforms have been proposed to regulations such as the Criminal Code to incorporate the work of crime control at sea, which is not regulated by the legal framework; or reforms to the law of Issfa, which have been raised by the military themselves”
- The Armed Forces coordinate the antidelinquential work with the police, especially in border areas and the territorial sea, for which joint operations centers have been implemented.
- 42 thousand troops integrate the different military branches and there are plans to reduce the personnel.
- The Ministry of Defense will invest in the modernization of equipment, vehicles and aircraft during the next year. (I)