RTL Today – Luxembourg at NATO summit: “We must build an army capable of meeting all challenges”

While the three ministers are attending a NATO conference in Madrid where Luxembourg will announce its major financial efforts to defend itself, Army Chief General Steve Thule outlines the challenges ahead.

The three ministers, Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister, Defense Minister Francois Bausch and Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, are attending the NATO summit in Madrid this Tuesday and Thursday.

As Russia continues to bomb Ukraine, Turkey blocks NATO membership in Sweden and Finland, and Germany announces on Tuesday that it is building Europe’s largest conventional force within NATO, a crucial moment for European and transatlantic security. The Luxembourg government will announce there that it will make a major financial defense effort that will reach 1% of its GDP, That is about 1 billion euros from 2028.

Army Chief of Staff, General Steve Thule, explained what is part of this heavy investment and what it will change.

Is Luxembourg arming itself today with the goal of greater potential risk?

There is a saying that says: If we want peace, we must be ready for war. The most important thing is to have an army that is capable of meeting the security needs of tomorrow. Today, we need to build an army that will be able to meet all the challenges tomorrow. For example, in the digital world we are witnessing all the developments. We’re doing everything right to respond to the “current”.

Why is Luxembourg making this huge financial effort?

Luxembourg’s goal is to become a reliable partner in NATO. Today, NATO urges everyone to invest Defense up to 2% of their GDP. So far the Luxembourg students have not been the best. And then we must make sure that these investments in defense are reasonable. And I believe that, given the announced projects, we are in the green.

The Belgo-Luxembourg Battalion formed It’s one The actual NATO demand Compared to Luxembourg and Belgium. A portion of the money invested to reach this 1% will be used to establish this battalion. Will follow other projects whose main purpose is “To use“That is, the military must be as effective as the civilian sector. And it is moving in the right direction because all our projects have always been well received by NATO partners.

Sure, drones bought for the military will be used for civilians?

Drones used for military search can also be used in other contexts in the civilian world. Imagine the flood, people have disappeared and it is not possible to see immediately where they are. With the help of a drone you can fly over these areas and identify these people.

In which area does Luxembourg want to bring its extra value?

At the military level we want to go one step further. Today we revise the light, in the future we will Moderate recognition. Today we have small observation drones. We have just acquired a drone that can be used at a brigade level and which can be used up to a distance of 100 kilometers. These drones will be replaced in the future as the sensors become more efficient.

On the field Cyber We’ve set up things like the Luxembourg Defense “Cyber ​​Range” platform (hosted and maintained by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, NSPA). But we are still going to become more efficient in this area and get better security in our system.

Another large area: Place. Today we have a communication satellite and with LUXEOSys we are going to make an observation satellite that can be very effective in the civilian field.

Will the army need extra manpower?

The army will grow. With the deployment of the Belgo-Luxembourg Battalion already it has been assumed that we will needOne hundred more people. But to set up all the projects with a very large project of the Belgium-Luxembourg Battalion.

In the case of cyberspace and aerospace in general we will need additional experts for what we want to do which we will recruit from the civilian sector.

In what time are you going to hire these hundreds of people?

The purpose is to have an operational battalion By 2028. Today the soldiers stay in the army for three years then they leave us. In the future, the new law provides for them to stay for four years. So if we want to get a soldier who still has a “lifetime” in the Army for two years, we only have to recruit him in 2026. So we still have a little time.

And then the new law will make it possible to recruit people who have graduated at the officer level and have their bachelor’s degree. This will expand the pool of people that the military may be interested in.

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