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Thread: German Defense Cooperations

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    According to the Inspector General, "similar projects" are envisioned with the Polish Army, with a possible similar exchange of units having been agreed with his Polish counterparts.
    This has a better-defined form now, with Germany and Poland signing a letter-of-intent for army cooperation in late October '14. This was followed by a joint execution plan cosigned by the German Army Inspector General and his Polish counterpart last month.

    Things agreed upon in this case:
    • Cooperation at brigade level: mutual subordination of battalion-level units
    • Liaisons and officer exchanges between the highest-level command staffs of the Polish and German Army (beginning 2016)
    • Joint training and exercises, in particular German units taking part in exercises on Polish territory (beginning 2015)
    • Joint training of cadets and exchanges between officer academies

    The scope of this is roughly on par with the engagement Germany has with Austria, i.e. a lot lower than envisioned by some and also a lot lower than with the Netherlands. The reason for this mismatch can probably be found with the Ukrainian situation.

    Interestingly this one is a lot less public (in Germany), with the MoD not publishing the original letter-of-intent, and the January plan only mentioned by the German embassy in Poland.

  2. #17
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    interesting article in the post this morning.

    not defense cooperation, but on the state of the German military.


    Germany’s army is so under-equipped that it used broomsticks instead of machine guns - The Washington Post

    Germany’s army is so under-equipped that it used broomsticks instead of machine guns
    By Rick Noack February 19 at 7:00 AM 

    The German army has faced a shortage of equipment for years, but the situation has recently become so precarious that some soldiers took matters into their own hands.

    On Tuesday, German broadcaster ARD revealed that German soldiers tried to hide the lack of arms by replacing heavy machine guns with broomsticks during a NATO exercise last year. After painting the wooden sticks black, the German soldiers swiftly attached them to the top of armored vehicles, according to a confidential army report which was leaked to ARD.

    A defense ministry spokesperson said the use of broomsticks was not a common practice, and that the decision of the involved soldiers was "hard to comprehend." According to the ministry, the armored vehicles were furthermore not supposed to be armed. It remains unclear how many broomsticks were substituted for machine guns.

    The awkward revelation on Tuesday came at the worst possible moment for Germany's defense ministry. The same day, Ukraine's army was about to suffer a defeat in the town of Debaltseve, putting a renewed focus on the question whether Europe's NATO allies would be able to manage the crisis militarily – without an American intervention, if necessary.

    To make matters worse, the broom-equipped German soldiers belong to a crucial, joint NATO task force and would be the first to be deployed in case of an attack. Opposition politicians have expressed concerns about Germany's ability to defend itself and other European allies, given that even some of the most elite forces lack basic equipment.

    The central European country was the world's third-largest arms exporter in 2013, but when it comes to Germany's own defense politicians have been unwilling to invest. In 2013, Germany spent only 1.3 percent of its GDP on defense -- a ratio which was below the average spending of the European members of NATO.

    In an interview with local German newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, the head of the country's green party Cem Özdemir argued that it was not only the lack of funding that posed a problem. "The financial resources are not being used efficiently," Özdemir said last September. According to him, Europe's armies only have one tenth of the strength of the U.S. Army, although they cost half of the defense budget of the United States.

    The lack of equipment does not come as a surprise to close observers of the German army. Last year, the parliamentary defense committee was informed that out of 89 German fighter jets, only 38 were ready for use. The list of damaged items also included helicopters, as well as a variety of weapons.

    After the lack of arms and vehicles was made public, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen vowed to upgrade and repair the equipment. According to some soldiers and officers, the minister has so far failed to deliver on her promises.

    According to the confidential report that was leaked on Tuesday, the German NATO task force would face serious problems if it had to intervene abroad. More than 40 percent of the task force's soldiers would have to do without P8 pistols, and more than 30 percent lacked general-purpose machine guns, known as MG3. Operating at night would be particularly difficult for Germany's armed task force, given a lack of 76 percent of necessary night viewers.

    Germany's continuous equipment problems hardly match von der Leyen's public rhetoric. On Tuesday, she announced that Germany would overhaul its security strategy and become more active internationally and in eastern Europe in the coming years.

    According to Reuters, von der Leyen said that Germany's new policy had to take into account the Kremlin's attempt "to establish geo-strategic power politics and military force as a form of asserting their interests." Critics, however, say that such statements remain pure rhetoric, as long as the financial resources dedicated to the German army are insufficient.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  3. #18
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    A defense ministry spokesperson said the use of broomsticks was not a common practice
    Yep. Usually you'd use a metal pipe. The exercise was Noble Ledger btw, commanded by 1 GE/NL Corps and conducted primarily by 11th (NL) Airborne Brigade - there's the tie-in for this thread.

    Original German video here:

    Part on 371st MechInf Btl starts at ca 1:20, cites leaked confidential reports on missing weapons including 76% miss on LUCIE personal NVS systems, 41% on P8 pistols, 31% on MG3 machine guns and 100% on machine guns for weapon stations for GTK Boxer; the Boxers were the ones equipped with broomsticks for exercise Noble Ledger. The report interviews retired 4-star general Harald Kujat, former Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, on the situation, who is ... rather outspoken about it (although politics play into this; Kujat was effectively a SPD general, the current MoD is CDU). The MoD was asked about the confidential materials but declined to comment.

    The Boxers were recently added to the ToE of the battalion and are the only Bundeswehr vehicles to be equipped with M2HB on their weapon stations.

    The lack of specifically LUCIE and MG3 is nothing new, and was already reported last October: back then, Süddeutsche (newspaper) reported about the 263th Para btn (part of the DSK Rapid Forces Division - another tie-in! ) which according to confidential materials had as defective or not present compared to ToE some 80% of MG3, 78% of MG4, 70% of LUCIE and 90% of G36K (but had well above ToE of standard G36). The DSK commander was interviewed back then and blamed the lack of MG3 on a failure to redistribute machine guns from batallions that were shut down in the current transformation (and the fact that the MG3 in the Bundeswehr are at the end of their service life), and the lack of LUCIE on Afghanistan (where they handed them out to soldiers like candy).

    What's really to blame here isn't the funding per se - what's to blame is that the Bundeswehr top-level administration, since ca 2003, has pushed through a rapid increase of new procurement investment at NATO behest (to now about 20%) to the detriment of everything else.

  4. #19
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    Ukraine crisis prompts German debate on restocking military

    By Sabine Siebold

    BERLIN Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:49am EST

    (Reuters) - Germany is considering buying more tanks in the light of the Ukraine crisis and Europe's deteriorating relations with Russia, after years of drastic cuts left the military operating with just 75 percent of the heavy equipment it needs.

    At the height of the Cold War in the 1980s, the then West Germany had more than 3,500 tanks. Today it has 225. Senior Western officials accused Russia last week of redrawing the map of Europe by force, and posing a threat to the Baltic states.

    "Land defense and defense of our alliance has always been an important duty for the German military and over the last year this has only gained in importance," said Jens Flossdorf, a spokesman for German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

    "NATO has set new goals on flexibility and rapid reaction time. That is why we are examining what appropriate modernizations and revisions we can make to boost existing structures," he added.

    Internally there is deep scorn for the German military's so-called "dynamic availability management" - which in practice means soldiers having to share tanks and heavy equipment across different units. The military has also been hit by procurement gaffes and equipment faults.

    Lawmakers on both sides of Germany's right-left coalition have called for Germany to properly restock its military.

    "We cannot allow ourselves any hollow structures given the actual security situation," said Social Democrat Peter Bartels.

    Germany should increase its number of Leopard 2 tanks to 300 and reverse the cancellation of an order for 50 Puma tanks, he said. The Leopard is made by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and the Puma by Rheinmetall (RHMG.DE) and KMW.

    Any restocking would be particularly welcomed by Germany's arms industry, which has seen sales squeezed by European defense budget cuts and tighter restrictions on arms exports.

    Western security officials are considering a potential crisis scenario where the Baltic states' large Russian minority stage a Moscow-backed uprising, as in eastern Ukraine. This would oblige NATO to secure its 2,000 kilometer eastern border through the Baltic states and Poland.

    Germany would need to play a key role, for which its 225 tanks would not suffice, a high-ranking German officer said.

    Britain's Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "real and present danger" to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and said NATO is getting ready to repel any aggression.
    Ukraine crisis prompts German debate on restocking military | Reuters

    Going through the actual interview with the MoD, it looks like she wants to:
    • replace the Dynamic Availability Management with a decentralized management system for combat vehicles (read: back to "every battalion fields what it can")
    • stop exporting Bundeswehr depot stocks of military vehicles, in particular tanks, in order to build a reliable reserve stock; this will majorly affect Eastern European militaries, since those have pretty much lived off of free German hand-me-downs in the past decades.
    • activate some units that were planned to be cadred in the current Bundeswehr transformation, such as a tank battalion in Bergen, preferably while including international partners - in the case of that tank batallion it'll probably have one or two Dutch companies (talks on this are ongoing).
    • stop transferring air force training components to the USA and instead concentrating them in Germany.
    • stop the planned centralization of command support assets
    • increase the number of civilian employee posts
    • think over the numerical relationship between SAZ and BS soldiers (SAZ - limited to 4/8/12 years; BS - lifetime soldiers)
    • reintroduce the reserve officer career path (2-year training, then reserve) beginning in autumn 2015

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minskaya View Post
    I believe Germany is currently awaiting certification of the Eurohawk UAV for signals intelligence missions. Germany is currently using three Israeli Heron UAVs and will be testing the Israeli Eitan and the US Reaper for armed drones.
    The German MoD has finally found a way around the lack of certification (and certificability) of HALE drones for European airspace.

    We're now leasing a number of Heron TP / Eitan which simply won't enter European airspace. The drones will be stationed with IAI (or rather: a joint venture of IAI and EADS) in Israel when not in use on deployment. For deployment, these will go to the deployment theater with a forward deployment of drone controllers from the 51st Reconnaissance Wing. The Heron TPs will be procured in 2018 with an option to be armed. Cost will be around 600 million Euro. Intermediate solution until then is additional Heron 1 UAVs as currently used in Afghanistan; these additional units would be used in Mali. The leasing contract will probably be valid until 2025, when a new solution will be sought.

    Factually this means a future defense cooperation with the Israeli Air Force, given the necessity for weapons training.

  6. #21
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    According to Dutch media it's possible that a formal agreement on joint use of Karel Doorman by both Germany and the Netherlands will be prepared after the next meeting of each country's ministers of defense on February 4th.

    Karel Doorman is a 28,000-ton sea base ship built to accomodate a large flight deck (two spots for Chinooks, up to six NH90 in the hangar), RoRo capacity of 2000 lane meters of vehicles and a "steel beach" for loading landing craft at sea (no well deck).

  7. #22
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    Announcement for the marines came as expected - from onboard HNLMS Karel Doorman. Karel Doorman was anchored in the Dutch capital for the first time today. She had two German tanks onboard loaded by Dutch LCUs for the occasion.

    Name:  cb8a0228defensie-previewmediumres.gif
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    In case anyone wonders, no, they're not sitting under their respective flags.

    • German naval infantry battalion will be integrated in Dutch Royal Marines around 2019
    • Karel Doorman will be available for German use in return
    • Dutch 43rd Mechanized Brigade will be integrated in German 1st Armored Division
      • German 414th Armor Battalion will be integrated in the Dutch 43rd Mechanized Brigade
      • a Dutch tank company will be integrated in 414th Armor Battalion
      • the tanks for that company will be sold by the Netherlands to Germany (16), upgraded to Leo 2A7 standard and leased back (18) by the Netherlands
      • first joint live-fire training for that unit (in Germany) is next week
    • an agreement was signed last week between Germany and the Benelux countries on joint air defense. Further development agreed on may result in a German BMD unit being placed under Dutch command.
    Last edited by kato; 05 Feb 16, at 00:03.

  8. #23
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    kato, can you tell me what language this integrated unit would use? I'm always interested in how different forces can integrate without a common language. Dutch is Germanic based, but with differences? What if a member of the unit can't speak this common language?

    It's easy for US forces because Canadians, British, Australians, and New Zealanders speak a form of English that's close enough to understand. Hell, I have more problems understanding a Georgian with heavy southern drawl than a English from the east side of London.
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  9. #24
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    The languages aren't all that close - the closest comparison is possibly Spanish and Portuguese; it's close enough that I can skim over e.g. the website of the Dutch Ministry of Defense (in Dutch) and get an idea of what's written in articles there, but i have to look up at least one quarter of the words to get their real meaning and i have no idea about the grammar. I'm South German though - a North(west) German would have a lot less problems with it.

    414th Armored Battalion uses German as official service language, including the Dutch company in it (was actually ordered by the LtGen in charge of 43rd (NL) Mech Bde). The service language for communication between the battalion and the brigade it belongs to is English, as is communication from brigade to division. For 11th (NL) Airborne Brigade it's similar - Dutch within the brigade, English in communication with the German division they belong to. Embedded officers from the other country in each case speak the language of their unit.
    Fall-back language is always English - including for non-integrated units. For example soldiers of the (GE) Naval Infantry Battalion took part in a (NL) Marine Corps exercise onboard HNLMS Rotterdam lin December; communication took place in English. The reason why English is the fall-back language is not just that it's the official NATO method of communication - you pretty much can't go through even elementary school in either Germany or the Netherlands without learning at least English. Dutch pretty much isn't taught in Germany; German is getting pretty rare as a school foreign language in the Netherlands.

    The Franco-German brigade (our long-term integrated unit, established 25 years ago) also has joint units even down to company level. In that case soldiers who speak both German and French are specifically sought for those; if you were in my area of Germany and had good grades in French you had a pretty good chance of serving there back when I was drafted. It's apparently occasionally a problem especially for France in finding enlisted soldiers who speak German, but it's laid out in such a way that those who'd give orders can always give them in both languages - and for those who don't understand there'd always be someone next to them who'd do.

    The Dutch integrative cooperations differ from the French one in that the Dutch soldiers - at least in 414th Armor Battalion stationed in Germany - serve under full German regulations. This was identified as a problem in joint deployments of the Franco-German brigade in the past, e.g. in Kosovo German soldiers under German law were allowed to fire their weapons to prevent theft of army materials (they are allowed to in Germany too for that matter); French soldiers aren't allowed to do the same under French law. For further effect the Dutch soldiers in that battalion also receive their entire training regimen under German regulations, although that's more an effect of the Dutch pretty much erasing their armored forces a couple years ago and it being easier to just do it this way. Pretty much the only thing they keep are the Dutch uniforms.
    Last edited by kato; 05 Feb 16, at 23:29.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Damn I miss that Like button :-(

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Damn I miss that Like button :-(
    Me too. Great info.

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  12. #27
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    There's a pretty good analysis on the 43rd (NL) Mechanized Brigade and why it "needs" to integrate into the German army here:
    Written by the two LtCol commanding the 11th Combat Engineer Bn and the 45th Mech Inf Bn within the 43rd.

    The downside? It's in Dutch, and Google Translate isn't helping much.

    The "need" is mostly argued for as being due to the requirement to have tanks as relatively cheap multipliers on the battlefield; especially in light of Dutch downsizing - cutting numbers of F-35 to be procured, cutting numbers of Spike LR ATGM teams by half - but also in light of other allies cutting ground support capability. The US retirement of A-10 is explicitly mentioned in that regard. The Dutch Apaches are considered not viable acting alone in high-intensity environments against hostile air defense networks.
    Proposal on further wishlist by them is hinging onto Germany for procurement of ammunition for artillery units, which as a development project has also been zero-funded in the Dutch budget; sought in particular are precision-guided munitions (would be SmArt 155 in the German Army) and laser-guided anti-tank ammunition (Diehl is trying to sell the 80-90 km range SAL-guided Vulcano 155 with <2m CEP to the German Army for that).

  13. #28
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    43rd (NL) Mechanized Brigade was officially placed under command of the 1st (GE) Armoured Division yesterday.
    414th (GE/NL) Armoured Battalion was declared in-service immediately afterwards.

    From the roadmap of the Seebataillon integration plans, it seems likely there will be German troops embarking on the Dutch JSS by late April which could then stay onboard during operational training in British waters. Possible later training operations as part of the integration project (not necessarily in ship/batallion combination, but regarding training procedures, operations and such) this year are the JSS' SNMG1 deployment in late summer/fall, and the Seebataillon's African Partnership Station deployment immediately afterwards.
    IOC for embedding the Seebataillon into the Dutch Navy is for end of 2017, with a number of milestones (joint exercise and trials roadmaps laid out, TTP ruleset defined, evaluation criteria established) to be achieved by the end of 2016.

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  15. #30
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    It's easy for US forces because Canadians, British, Australians, and New Zealanders speak a form of English says the man who has never been on combined exercises with those units!!!

    Always worked best with the Canadians and Aussies. Had problems with the Brits, surprisingly. Colloquialisms mostly.
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