It's obviously all a lot more complicated than in that article, in particular the "changes in existing personnel". That describes mostly that civilian life integration schooling measures for soldiers will be - voluntarily - pushed past their service end, basically a service extension for them (which yields 1500 posts); and that about half of the current short-term flexible personnel will be assigned to posts. Both are mostly bookkeeping tricks.World | Tue May 10, 2016 11:03am EDT
Related: World, Germany
Germany expanding military ranks to counter Islamist, cyber threats
Germany plans to add 7,000 military jobs and 4,400 civilians to its armed forces over the next seven years to help tackle demands such as cybersecurity and the fight against Islamic State, its defense minister said on Tuesday.
Ursula von der Leyen said the move marked the first increase in the size of the German military since the end of the Cold War and was part of a broader campaign that has revamped the way the military buys equipment and prepares its budgets.
"A quarter century of a shrinking military is over. It is time for the German armed forces to grow," she told reporters.
Germany's armed forces totaled 800,000 military and civilian personnel at the time of German unification in 1990, but since have shrunk to a target of 185,000 troops and 56,000 civilians, according to German government officials.
They said the goal now was to get away from the strict ceilings used in the past and move toward a more dynamic annual review of personnel needs.
Officials said a recent comprehensive review had shown that the German military needed 14,300 additional troops to cope with new missions. These include the at-sea rescue of refugees, operations in support of a U.S.-led air strike campaign against Islamic State insurgents in Iraq and Syria, and backing operations against other Islamist militants in Mali.
Of those, 5,000 would be filled through changes in existing personnel, with 7,000 to be added in new posts and the extension of existing contracts.
Current plans would leave about 2,300 of the required military positions vacant, although that estimate could be adjusted next year, officials said.
The "14,300 additional troops to cope with new missions" are distributed mostly in only three-digit numbers to:
- buffing up the new Cyber and Information Space Command
- the medical service, which among other things is set to receive 500 medics for deployment use
- an additional naval infantry company for the Seebataillon that will be placed under Dutch command (with "boarding", i.e. ship security specialization - notably not with "coastal" specialization despite being integrated into an amphibious unit)
- new multiple crew manning concepts for the navy (read: spare crews for F125 and MKS180 frigates and the U212A subs, which are planned out as typically 5 for 4 or 8 for 6 (crews for ships) concepts)
- personnel for an additional deployable air transport base (although to me it's unclear whether they mean an additional deployable forward air base - operated by the air force, like the one we had in Uzbekistan till 2015, have in Senegal since 2013 and may possibly build up in Niger - or an additional forward air logistics turntable - operated by the Joint Forces Support Force, like the one we had in Turkey; both would be about the same size though)
- an additional bridgebuilding engineer company
- additional UAV/IMINT operating personnel (pilots, payload operators, analyzers - the latter in particular is currently a problem, since we forward-deploy those* and we're in three different theaters concurrently - Afghanistan, Syria/Iraq, Mali -, one more than previous concepts called for...)
- an additional combat support company for the KSK Special Forces Command (read: forward fire support coordination; although this will be the hardest to fill, given the KSK have standards that lead to 20% of their posts not being filled for lack of recruits able to pass entry tests...)
- additional troops for air defense troops (from 2021 - i.e. introduction of TLVS with its new radar and second effector system, even though that was supposed to reduce manpower requirements compared to current Patriot units...)
The full list is apparently 96 such small measures. Probably only the CIR Command and possibly the Navy will receive several thousand soldiers. Other than that it's pretty spread out among all six services.
* - we also forward-deploy UAV pilots and operators into theaters, unlike other countries. Not for lack of reach-back capability, but because this helps integration and embedment into the deployed troops regarding their needs and structure. And supposedly lowers PTSD.