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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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  • kato
    replied
    Originally posted by kato View Post
    It is planned to succeed ATHENA with another demonstrator for the Bundeswehr at larger scale dubbed NOVA as the final one for the RDRS development contract. NOVA is planned to have her first flight in second half of 2023, and in company plans upon finishing their Bundeswehr contract with it is planned to be followed with a full-scale spaceplane by 2025.
    NOVA has been pushed back to 2024.

    Polaris got a new contract from the Bundeswehr in April, this time for testing a linear aerospike engine (LAS) including in-flight validation. So far a LAS has never been fired in-flight, their demonstrator would be the first one (and yes, firing it in-flight). NASA mounted one on a SR-71 for cold-flow tests in the 90s.

    for progression of Polaris demonstrators:
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    For this new contract Polaris has built another two demonstrators, MIRA and the scale model MIRA-Light. MIRA-Light is meant to test the flight control systems and for this had 15 flights in a two-week span in August and September.

    MIRA is the planned demonstrator for the live LAS hot tests and apparently sufficiently along that there's a standing airspace exclusion zone around Peenemünde for those tests already in place (between September and December, with NOTAMs issued 48 hours before flights). Ground tests like rolling and emergency termination with MIRA were actually completed this week.

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  • kato
    replied
    Originally posted by Monash View Post
    What about ground level positions kato? Senior command positions are one thing, do you have an info on what if anything is happening with squad level combat roles?
    A bit difficult to detail. It's actually quite a bit higher though. Below numbers for July 31st '23.

    By military careers:
    • among 8,883 "Voluntary Military Service" posts - that's all enlisted soldiers serving maximum 23 months - 18.5% are female
    • among 115,592 "Limited Duration Soldiers" posts - soldiers serving between 2 and 12, in rare cases up to 25 years in time-limited contracts - 15.3% are female
    • among 56,761 "Professional Soldiers" posts - soldiers serving minimum 8 to 12 years and from there until mandatory age limit - 8.5% are female

    That "Voluntary Military Service" is effectively considered an internship of sorts by the military. Besides people actively applying for these posts it's also a form of career that recruiters use to shove applicants not quite suitable for real service for various reasons into - to fill out numbers. In general these have limited training, but - if serving longer than 12 months - are actually sent on deployment abroad.
    "Professional Soldiers" as opposed to the rest are (for the most part) only recruited - or rather may apply - from within the force itself. These are all "senior command positions", effectively either officers above company commander position (that's typically an end-of-career position for "Limited Duration" officers) or NCOs in some sort of senior specialist role (Master Sergeant equivalent basically).

    So if you want the general "ground level positions" you're basically looking at that 15.3% there.

    By service there are clear preferences though:
    • Army : 7.6% female
    • Air Force : 9.5% female
    • Cyber Domain : 10.1% female
    • Navy : 11.0% female
    • Joint Support Force : 11.4% female
    • Medical Service : 41.5% female
    • All other branches : 24.4% female

    The "all other" besides ministry, personnel department, infrastructure department, procurement department also includes all soldiers currently at one of the two military universities as part of their officer career training.

    Among 80,290 civilian employees of the Bundeswehr 39% are female. About 26% of civilian employee posts are assigned to one of the active service branches (i.e. not the "all other" above), it's somewhat likely the distribution there is similar to that among soldiers.


    Apparently for 2022 18% of all applications for military posts were from women, for officer careers 24%.

    Since that basically means that the original recruitment target of 15% for new recruits was reached they promptly recently raised the recruitment target to 25%.

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  • Monash
    replied
    Originally posted by kato View Post

    The 375th Artillery Battalion, the newly established brigade artillery battalion for 37th Mechanized Brigade, will officially be inaugurated next thursday, being commanded by LtCol Hekla Marlen Werner.

    She'll officially be the first female battalion commander in the Army, although not the first in Army uniform - that would be LtCol Anja Buresch-Hamann, commander of 172nd Logistics Battalion in the Joint Support Force, who became battalion commander in 2021 (for scale: she joined up in the first year that women were allowed into general service). She actually switched out of this post after two years just last thursday.
    What about ground level positions kato? Senior command positions are one thing, do you have an info on what if anything is happening with squad level combat roles?

    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by kato View Post

    The 375th Artillery Battalion, the newly established brigade artillery battalion for 37th Mechanized Brigade, will officially be inaugurated next thursday, being commanded by LtCol Hekla Marlen Werner.

    She'll officially be the first female battalion commander in the Army, although not the first in Army uniform - that would be LtCol Anja Buresch-Hamann, commander of 172nd Logistics Battalion in the Joint Support Force, who became battalion commander in 2021 (for scale: she joined up in the first year that women were allowed into general service). She actually switched out of this post after two years just last thursday.
    As always Kato, thank you for your insights.

    Leave a comment:


  • kato
    replied
    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Another question for you. In one mf my trips to Germany there were some tests for women to serve in combat arms units. Are you aware of any decision and manning regarding that? In the US we have now allowed women to serve in all areas.
    The 375th Artillery Battalion, the newly established brigade artillery battalion for 37th Mechanized Brigade, will officially be inaugurated next thursday, being commanded by LtCol Hekla Marlen Werner.

    She'll officially be the first female battalion commander in the Army, although not the first in Army uniform - that would be LtCol Anja Buresch-Hamann, commander of 172nd Logistics Battalion in the Joint Support Force, who became battalion commander in 2021 (for scale: she joined up in the first year that women were allowed into general service). She actually switched out of this post after two years just last thursday.

    Leave a comment:


  • kato
    replied
    According to an interview with the new president of the procurement agency of the Bundeswehr it is planned to have contracts signed for two thirds of the 100 billion fund by the end of the year, the remaining third following in Q1/2024.

    The agency is preparing 91 separate procurement processes for approval by the defense and budget committees for this year, i.e. big-ticket projects above 25 million Euro project cost.

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  • kato
    replied
    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Where's the French?
    They're the main competition when it comes to space commands. ;-)

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  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by kato View Post
    When the ceremony for inauguration of new staff building for the Luftwaffe and CIR's Space Command sorta falls in too close date-wise with both April 1st and Carneval festivities.
    Where's the French?

    Leave a comment:


  • tbm3fan
    replied
    I can just see Russia getting this and saying here is the proof that NATO wants to absorb Russia into their Empire. Gotta watch and see if this video turns up modified in Russia I'm pretty sure there are Russians who wouldn't get the joke.

    Leave a comment:


  • kato
    replied
    short version:


    long version:


    When the ceremony for inauguration of new staff building for the Luftwaffe and CIR's Space Command sorta falls in too close date-wise with both April 1st and Carneval festivities.
    Last edited by kato; 05 Apr 23,, 09:52.

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  • kato
    replied
    The role of the Commissioner is actually pretty tightly defined by law.
    • Officially, the commissioner "on her own" investigates exactly: cases of violations of constitutional rights of soldiers and violations of the principles of "Innere Führung" (i.e. the leadership concept in the Bundeswehr that defines the limits to legal commands and defines the soldier as a "citizen in uniform"). In addition she investigates on behalf of the Parliamentary Defense Committee on any issue that the Committee orders her to.
    • For those investigations the commissioner has the right to demand access to any files, demand responses on questions asked from any Bundeswehr soldier and freely visit any Bundeswehr facility. She has the right to file for disciplinary or criminal investigations and to attend any such court cases, including even "simple" disciplinary hearings related to her area of responsibility.
    • Every soldier in the Bundeswehr has a legal right to file complaints with the commissioner - explicitly directly, i.e. outside the reporting route that would pass it through his commanding officers. In addition soldiers may not be reprimanded or disciplined for such complaints.

    Originally, the commissioner was created in order to curb excesses and provide oversight back when Wehrmacht soldiers were training Bundeswehr soldiers in the 50s and 60s. The commissioner reports to the Defense Committee both in person, when ordered and regularly through a public annual report of her work.

    In 2022 the commissioner's office handled 3839 cases (think that's the lowest since 1959), of which 2343 were complaints by soldiers, 988 were "reportable events" (read: disciplinary cases) and the rest either came up at troop visits or was brought to their attention through other sources (letters from relatives of soldiers, press reports etc). About one in three complaints concerned the soldiers' careers, i.e. complaints about promotions, being posted somewhere, being pushed into a different training path etc.

    Examples in the reports for "violations of constitutional rights" are always plenty. And in some cases really harder stuff, like a trainer handing a soldier a rifle with magazine in and telling them to point it at another soldier and pull the trigger - then when they refused to do so himself pulling a pistol, holding it to their head and pulling the trigger (on the empty pistol). Or in another case a NCO who announced that he'd punch a particular soldier in the balls for every day that they didn't sign up to extend their service (and then also doing so).

    The infrastructure things in her report - that may go beyond it - are really often based around some sort of unequal treatment, lack of basic facilities or lack of infrastructure severely impacting training.

    It should be noted that her annual report doesn't just contain "negative" complaints. There are also cases in it where e.g.
    • investigations after a complaint have found that the Bundeswehr institution complained about was perfectly in their rights in what they did (e.g. a soldier that wanted to dissolve his 12-year service contract early and was denied that)
    • cases of "exemplary" positive behaviour are portrayed that soldiers felt they should report (a soldier whose wife died and who was supported in sorting out his life by his comrades in his unit and his commanders)
    • inquests where "alternatives" are shown (example: a complaint bureaucratical difficulties of organizing excursions for students of the Medical Adacemy - the commissioner's office basically asked other Bundeswehr schools and then pointed out just how the Navy NCO School does it differently)

    Last edited by kato; 20 Mar 23,, 08:06.

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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by kato View Post
    Eva Högl has been calling for more money for a while. My personal opinion on it is that it's not exactly part of her job description to call for what she does.
    I had a funny feeling this was a little out of her bailiwick...the louder the voices, the less responsibility they have for making something happen.

    Leave a comment:


  • kato
    replied
    Eva Högl has been calling for more money for a while. My personal opinion on it is that it's not exactly part of her job description to call for what she does.

    As for her 2022 report that the article refers to, other than the financial aspect she's mostly repeating stuff she already had in last report. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces mostly serves as the "public voice" for complaints of soldiers, for which the annual report presents notable examples. The report is about 100 pages of listing those with a complaint quote and an insight paragraph, for about everything you can think of (from various degrees of physical abuse of subordinates via stuff like "they paid me late twice last year" or "they've been dragging out my disciplinary hearing for a year now!" to such trivial stuff as bad wifi due to steel walls for students at the Bundeswehr University).


    For some scale of the financial aspect, Högl has been calling for 300 billion Euro total, quite blatantly in the sense of "three times the 100 billion fund!". The 50 billion mentioned for infrastructure were what she mentioned in the same context. Part of these calls were when she was being publicly considered as bringing herself in position to replace MoD Christine Lambrecht back in January. She is now basically using the opportunity of the regular publishing of her report to repeat those calls to try to put the guy who got the job instead of her under pressure. Pistorius himself is trying to get the regular defense budget raised by 10 billion, i.e. to basically double the regular amount available for procurement.

    As for the 100 billion fund, yes, very little or next to nothing of that has been paid out from the fund. Because the Bundeswehr does not pay until they actually have the equipment in their hands. For 2023 about 8.4 billion are planned to be spent on equipment to be delivered for projects paid from the 100 billion fund.


    Yes, the equipment sent to Ukraine has so far not been replaced. There are contracts in process to do so, although in some cases they're being artificially complicated - for example Germany donated 14 PzH 2000 to Ukraine, but the minimum contract KMW is willing to sign is for 16. And since the Ministry of Defense wants (and can only have) it paid from outside the defense budget it's also tied to exact replacement numbers.

    Since the vast majority of equipment donated by Germany comes from industry stocks and not the Bundeswehr it's not as big of a problem as may appear at first glance.

    Deliveries from Bundeswehr stocks have been, including currently planned:
    • 14 PzH 2000, 5 MARS II MLRS, 18500 rounds 155mm ammunition and undeclared amount of artillery rockets
    • 18 Leopard 2A6, 2 BPz 3 recovery vehicles + undeclared amount of ammunition
    • 1 Patriot battery + undeclared amount of ammunition
    • 20 Marder IFV (in place of industry stock, will be replaced from that)
    • 35 palletized load system 8x8 trucks from current production + 6 NBC Decon trucks + 280 older trucks, vans and pickups
    • small amount of small arms of various kind (e.g. 500 pistols, 130 machine guns)
    • medium amount ammunition stocks, mostly for small arms (roughly half as much as Germany donated to the US for the Iraq War 2003)
    • large amount of winter uniform clothing (depending on specific item enough for between a division and the whole Ukrainian army)
    Last edited by kato; 15 Mar 23,, 22:34.

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