Portuguese Defense Minister João Gomes Cravinho highlighted the importance of the sea for Portugal over the centuries, saying that the country needs a "well equipped" navy in the face of current challenges.
In the next 12 years, according to the minister, the state will do "a very significant reinforcement" in human resources and equipment, namely in the renewal of the fleet.
"We will strengthen the capacity of our Navy," João Gomes Cravinho told reporters in Coimbra at the end of his participation in the celebrations of the Navy's Day, in which he was accompanied by Secretary of State for National Defense Ana Santos Pinto.
In his speech, he affirmed that "there is today in our society a broad consensus on the centrality that the sea must assume in our development as a society of the 21st century and in the international affirmation" of Portugal.
"The sea today represents a space of innovation and development that we have to fulfill and is one of our main strategic assets," he said.
For the Minister of Defense, "it is a national design and a deep source of sense of belonging if its knowledge is supported and supported, as the basis of public policies."
"The work carried out by the Navy, in all dimensions of its interaction with our maritime and riverine areas, contributes in an irreplaceable way to this knowledge, to that sense of belonging, to this affective connection with the sea," he added.
In this context, João Gomes Cravinho highlighted the work of the Hydrographic Institute (IG), "as a superior example of the immense potential that the bet on scientific knowledge can generate" for Portuguese society.
The mapping project developed by the IG "already accounts for about 39% of our territorial sea and 48% of our Exclusive Economic Zone mapped," he said.
"Today, the Portuguese Armed Forces face the challenge of recruiting more and better and offering attractive careers for our young people. The Navy is no exception, "he said.
The Defense Minister addressed "the difficulty in filling the vacancies and … retaining young people who venture into a military career."
"But we know that the citizens' perception of their military career is a crucial factor in their attractiveness," he added, before the Navy forces halted.
For João Gomes Cravinho, it is important "to continue working to have Armed Forces that reflect Portuguese society and its ambition", being necessary that "they offer all the conditions for a career perspective that, despite its specific constraints, guarantees a future stable and rewarding service for those who choose to join the military family. "