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  • kato
    replied
    The Bundeswehr - officially announced by MoD Pistorius today - is currently planning to reintroduce conscription in Germany.

    Since the government does not have the necessary majorities for a change of constitution for a full revamp the plan is to "reactivate" the - still active, but since 2011 not used - conscription legal basis originally introduced in 1956. MoD Pistorius plans to "ideally" have this reactivation passed through a law bill in mid-2025.

    Since the Bundeswehr - for the past 10 years - is no longer laid out to actually support a conscription model and there is likely little support (especially among the troops) for changing this, Pistorius' plan is to instead introduce a system somewhat similar to the US Selective Service System of ca 1970.
    In this model it is planned to:
    • Send all young adults registration questionaires (men and women). Require all men among them to actually send those back in. Women can not be legally required to do so (due to constitution).
    • Have a selection of those men who were registered undergo a standard mustering process, i.e. medical evaluation and aptitude testing. Women may participate voluntarily.
    • Have in particular those who voluntarily sign up serve a basic-training focused national service, either 6 months (basic service, was the last length in 2011) or up to 23 months ("voluntary conscription").
    • The number of those who are drafted for this service would be based upon training capacities in the Bundeswehr, for the second half of 2025 Pistorius foresees an immediate capacity of 5,000 men and women. For comparison, in the last five years of conscription on average 50,000 men were drafted, and at that point they were already massively lowering numbers through "selection criteria". The year i was drafted 150,000 conscripts served.
    • Have all those who have been trained in this service enter the reserve in defined reserve military postings ("Grundbeorderung") for several years. This is intended to bring up reserve numbers significantly over time.


    The exact concept, i.e. length of service, sanctions for objectors etc, is still being debated internally, and would be subject to a wider political discussion anyway. In addition it is already foreseeable that there would be legal action against such a conscription model, especially regarding "fairness" (i.e. the criteria on who'd get selected).

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  • kato
    replied
    As part of NATO's STEADFAST DEFENDER 2024 large-scale exercise, the Bundeswehr is holding a exercise series called QUADRIGA 2024.

    Part of QUADRIGA 2024 is NATIONAL GUARDIAN 2024, an exercise specifically for the Territorial Defense Regiments. The exercise leverages the large troop movements of STEADFAST DEFENDER to train related Host Nation Support tasks.

    About 1400 reservists of these regiments have been mobilized for the next (up to) six weeks to train:
    • distributed object security for depots and bases (nationwide)
    • securing a railhead for departure of troops (1st Home Protection Regiment in Bavaria / South)
    • securing Hannover airport for departure of troops (2nd Home Protection Regiment in Lower Saxony /Northwest)
    • securing Rostock seaport for departure of troops (4th Home Protection Regiment in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern /Baltic Coast)
    • running Convoy Support Centers for (live) convoy of troops (5th Home Protection Regiment in Hessen /Central and Oberlausitz /near Polish border)
    • planning out the protection of a convoy of armoured forces moving from South Germany to the Baltic Coast


    Some of these regiments have only just been brought together, e.g. 5th Regiment launched April 1st 2024. These units basically preface some initial general infantry exercises before transitioning into NATIONAL GUARDIAN on May 2nd.

    A bit interestingly THW - i.e. the civil protection agency - is also taking part to some extent. To sort of mix it up with "live units" they'll provide convoys using the convoy support centers (the US Army will also direct some convoys through them).

    ---

    QUADRIGA 2024 itself is a large-scale exercise involving 12,000 Bundeswehr troops which has been running since mid-February and will run until end of May.

    This exercise series includes:

    GRAND NORTH - moving 23rd (GE) Mountain Infantry Brigade to Norway to take part in exercise NORDIC RESPONSE (February).
    GRAND CENTER - moving 41st (GE) Mechanized Brigade and 21st (GE) Mechanized Brigade to Poland and Lithania to take part in SABER STRIKE and GRAND EAGLE (March).
    GRAND SOUTH - moving 1st (GE) Airborne Brigade to Romania via Hungary to take part in SWIFT RESPONSE (April).

    Ahead of the movement exercises troops were holding smaller joint exercises, e.g. for GRAND CENTER with US troops in Hohenfels, Bavaria.

    This is now in May followed by GRAND QUADRIGA - moving to Lithuania:
    • 12th (GE) Armoured Brigade
    • (FR/GE) Franco-German Brigade (Medium Infantry)
    • 13th (NL) Light Brigade

    These troops will afterwards hold a combined arms exercise in Lithuania.

    The non-German troops taking part in GRAND QUADRIGA are moving to Germany for their own ramp-up exercises right now, e.g. 13th (NL) Light Brigade moving to the GÜZ Bundeswehr training center in East Germany in the last few days (that's the one with the urban warfare training center). In some cases these are more involved longer exercise series in themselves, for example the Franco-German Brigade held a series of brigade-level exercises called TRIPLE of which GRAND QUADRIGA is just the third and last part (first part was in Upper Lausitz on the Polish border in March, second part at GÜZ in April).

    GRAND CENTER was the primary exercise for 1st Armoured Division, GRAND QUADRIGA is the same for 10th Armoured Division. The other two are for the Rapid Forces Division.

    Each of these movement exercises is also supported by the Joint Support Force with logistics and military police forces - in total around 1,000 men, for GRAND QUADRIGA with a full reach-back logistics staff (theater sustainment command equivalent) to train the full homeland-to-front logistics chain. GRAND QUADRIGA also includes CBRN forces, GRAND CENTER included an amphibious engineer bataillon bridging a river in Poland.
    Last edited by kato; 22 Apr 24,, 20:20.

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  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Thanks for breaking it down, Kato. I was always kind of hard who eas working for whom at times in A'stan.

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  • kato
    replied
    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Looking at those troop lists...didn't Germany also deploy som SP artillery?
    The overwhelming majority of troops in Afghanistan came under a different mandate - for ISAF. The ISAF mandate was first passed on Dec 21st 2001 and ran in parallel. The two missions were always kept separate since they had a different scope with regard to territory, mission statement, rules of engagement and political reasoning. The OEF mandate was the NATO Article 5 response, ISAF was just a NATO mission.

    Originally the ISAF mandate allowed for maximum 1200 men comprised of "infantry, helicopter forces, support forces, air transport, forces for joint HQs and liaison". Force numbers were adapted annually, offhand the maximum was 5350 soldiers around 2010.

    The description was switched to a capability-based one in 2005 laying out "command and command support, security and protection, IMINT and airborne surveillance, logistical support and medical support". Deployed artillery fell under the "security and protection" capability. In 2009 they changed the wording on that a bit and also added in "training support and CIMIC" as new capabilities. In 2015 military intelligence was added to the capability set as a last update.

    After 2005 the only troops/systems mentioned explicitly in the ISAF mandate was the Tornado RECCE group deployed in Afghanistan, since this component had a different territorial scope assigned (and this had to be declared in the mandate).

    In 2010 to 2011 there was a third parallel mandate for Afghanistan for participation in AWACS flights, which was folded into the ISAF mandate in the renewal for 2012.

    KSK initially was deployed only under the OEF mandate explicitly mentioning them, then from 2005 under the ISAF mandate (with the switch to the capability-based description there allowing to "hide" them). The special forces were formally removed from the OEF mandate in the 2008 renewal bid.
    Last edited by kato; 01 Apr 24,, 01:13.

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  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Looking at those troop lists...didn't Germany also deploy som SP artillery?

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  • kato
    replied
    The government deploying soldiers "ahead of" parliamentary approval was always a bit controversial in Germany too.

    The 1994 supreme court decision was due to the Bosnia deployment after the opposition complained that nominally the Bundeswehr is a "parliamentary army" and therefore they should at least have been able to vote on it.

    With the decision the procedure to "allow deployment, but require parliamentary approval asap" was instituted, although this wasn't codified until 2005. Technically if the parliament had voted against the deployment at the time then the already deployed soldiers would have had to be recalled btw.


    Most deployments between 1994 and 2005 saw someonce complaining about procedures. Often this was about the government trying to circumvent the parliament, such as by stating they didn't need approval if it wasn't a combat deployment - the government usually lost in court decisions on these (example: AWACS over Turkey in 2003).

    In 2005 the procedure was codified as a law - the "Parliamentary Involvement Law". This law addressed most complaints in previous years by exactly outlining when the parliament has to be involved, what exact data on a mission the government has to report to parliament at what point in time, codifies what parliament can do (only withdraw permission - they cannot change details about the deployment, just yes/no) and allows for a simplified procedure for "small" deployments (ahead reconnaissance teams, overall "low significance", single soldiers sent on UN missions and such).

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  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Thanks, Kato, was wondering why the SF response was so fast.

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  • kato
    replied
    P.S:

    Full mandate was:
    - 800 soldiers NBC defense
    - 100 soldiers special forces
    - 250 soldiers medical
    - 500 soldiers air transport
    - 1800 soldiers navy including naval aviation
    - 450 soldiers necessary support forces

    With permission to change these numbers "depending on necessity" as long as overall numbers stayed within the mandate for 3900 soldiers.

    It also included a rather wide territorial scope initially, with the reservation that only forces in Afghanistan would be deployed "without permission of the respective government".

    The above served to allow specifically the three deployments Germany had in Operation Enduring Freedom:
    - a special forces company (KSK) in Afghanistan
    - an NBC Defense Battalion in Kuwait
    - a naval task force (within CTF150) on the Horn of Africa

    The NBC defense group as part of "CJTF-CM" under CENTCOM was deployed in January 2002 and very quickly reduced to about two platoons with the rest withdrawn and kept in readiness in Germany. That arrangement remained in place until the next US-Iraq war, then brought back up to two companies and actively sent on missions defensively within Kuwait during the war (which isn't really that widely known). The group was withdrawn between May and July 2003.

    The OEF mandate remained active until 2010, but was modified in numbers and scope every year in a review for parliamentary approval.
    Last edited by kato; 30 Mar 24,, 09:27.

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  • kato
    replied
    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Under what authority did the KSK entered Afghanistan under CENTCOM's command? I mean any legal authority authorized by the Executive or the Legislative?
    Executive, with retroactive permission by the legislative.

    Federal Parliament passed DS 14/7296 on behalf of the government on Nov 14th 2001, which retroactively permitted deployment of soldiers that had been "deployed since Oct 7th 2001".

    That law bill permitted specific troops defined in it to be deployed within Operation Enduring Freedom (e.g.: "100 special forces") and other broad details of the mission.
    Oct 7th wasn't the actual start of deployment btw, but the time when Operation Enduring Freedom was officially declared in the Security Council.

    The socalled "parliamentary reserve" (the right of the parliament to decide on deployments) was originally defined in a Supreme Court decision in 1994 and laid out this procedure. Under this the executive was allowed to deploy on its own authority initially due to "danger at hand", but required to seek immediate legislative approval.

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  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Kato,

    Under what authority did the KSK entered Afghanistan under CENTCOM's command? I mean any legal authority authorized by the Executive or the Legislative?

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  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    I can see some of the logic behind all of this but...man, the the government is accepting ALL the risk! And as I am sure there is software involved in each assembly which will have to be integrated...well, that can be ruinously difficult. See the F-35. If this passes legal muster I imagine a long teething period for the system.

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  • kato
    replied
    The newest thing in procurement shenanigans:

    The Bundeswehr is now procuring medium caliber guns for future vehicles separately. In total this is about a fixed contract for 153 guns with an option for another 162.

    The tender is written in such a way that only the Oerlikon KBA can fulfill the requirements.

    Requirements are:
    - 25x137mm calibre
    - ITAR-free (excludes Bushmaster M242)
    - maximum 36cm vertical height mounted (excludes Nexter M811, which is ... 37cm)
    - fixed delivery in batches of 61 guns per year
    - must be introduced in a NATO military
    - must have been previously integrated into an air-transportable ground vehicle (Oerlikon KBA fulfills this with the Turkish ACV-300 qualified for C-130 transport)

    Specifically the guns are for the future "Korsak" reconnaissance vehicles and the LuWa airmobile fire support vehicle (the replacements for Fennek and Wiesel respectively). "Korsak" is planned at 2 prototypes + 90 regular + 162 options, LuWa is planned at 56 units total.

    The Bundeswehr intends, for these two projects, to procure separately:
    a) the guns
    b) the turrets/weapon system
    c) the vehicles

    The main idea behind splitting the procurement this way seems to be to force suppliers into a specific solution process using pre-supplied MOTS products, and thus mitigate supplier-side delays and cost overruns stemming from integration.
    Last edited by kato; 28 Mar 24,, 21:23.

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  • kato
    replied
    Originally posted by kato View Post
    The Federal Parliament exactly one year ago unanimously (!) gave its okay to reintroducing the office of a military rabbi in the Bundeswehr. It's planned that the first rabbi (who has been selected by now) will be formally installed on June 21st this year.
    [...]
    Historically the German Military only had rabbis during WW1, when numbers of German Jewish soldiers were much higher at around 100,000 total.
    Rabbi Konstantin Pal has now become the first rabbi deployed by the German military since over 100 years. He joined the crew of tender Donau yesterday, the flagship of SNMCMG1 deployed in Norway.

    Pal is notionally the Rabbi for Bundeswehr forces stationed in five eastern-central states with his office situated at the Bundeswehr Training Command in the area.

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  • kato
    replied
    Originally posted by kato View Post
    first female officer on a submarine was posted in 2014..
    Came across it randomly : Apparently this October the Bundeswehr got its first female submarine commander.

    Corvette Captain Claudia N. (full names no longer publicized for security reasons by Bundeswehr) has been serving on German submarines for a while, and became XO of Delta Crew - the same submarine crew she now commands - in July 2020 as the first female submarine XO in the Bundeswehr.

    Submarines tend to be traditionally an area where internationally women tend to be "rare". In the USN the first women starting serving on submarines in 2010, in Germany in 2014. As i understand it there hasn't been a female submarine commanding officer in the USN yet - only in August 2022 a woman became XO of a submarine for the first time there.

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  • kato
    replied
    Updated the previously published OrBat for the Army showing some changes in planning now:

    Click image for larger version

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    Basically, in June the MoD announced that Germany will be permanently forward-stationing a brigade in Lithuania. This will be a new brigade in addition to the ones that had previously been planned out.

    So in recent months they had to find compromises on how to field this brigade without any significant impact on personnel or finances. And of course they had to work against all kinds of internal lobbyism that set boundaries. The new brigade, Panzerbrigade 42, will be fielded in 2025, the brigade-level forward commands will be established during 2024.

    PzBrig 42 will get the 203rd Armoured Battalion from PzLBrig 9 and the 122nd Mechanized Battalion from PzBrig 12. Its third battalion will be the German-led eFP Battlegroup in Lithuania, which will be fielded rotating from other brigades and currently includes some artillery. It is likely that the brigade will get additional units in the future, in particular for combat support, but those aren't planned out yet (at least publicly).

    Those two battalions now announced will be permanently moved to Lithuania, including their equipment. Their current bases in Germany will be reused to host some of the new artillery battalions for brigades, for which basing was considered a bit problematic anyway (originally requiring building entirely new bases in some cases).

    PzBtl 203 was likely chosen because it is the one battalion that had its Leopard 2 stripped from it recently to deliver them to Ukraine; i.e. the battalion will need an entirely new equipment set (Leopard 2A8) yet to be built, and in the meantime does have the opportunity to restructure its personnel anyway. The battalion had only been switched over to PzLBrig 9 last April anyway. It'll basically be going straight to Lithuania with the new tanks and new personnel in 2025.

    PzGrenBtl 122 is fully equipped and trained up on Puma IFV.

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