Greece to increase army service amid tension with Turkey

Greece will introduce an increase in military service for conscripts serving in the army from nine to twelve months, starting in May, as part of a program to boost the armed forces amid tension with regional rival Turkey.

The decision made public Friday will bring army service in line with the length of conscription to the navy and air force.

The nine-month term will only remain for army conscripts who volunteer to join special forces services or serve in border areas for their entire term in uniform.

Greece last year began a major military modernisation program that will include the upgrade of its ageing F-16 fighter jet fleet as well as the purchase of new-generation, French-built Rafale jets and a planned frigate order that has drawn keen interest from competing U.S. and European arms makers.

Greece and neighbouring Turkey are at odds over sea boundaries and mineral rights in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean, causing a tense naval buildup in the region last year.

(A version of this article was originally published by Kathimerini and reproduced by permission.)