Update – Bundeswehr starts collecting winter gear for NATO’s VJTF: Dude, we need your balaclava!

Update: After this story appeared here on Monday, on Tuesday morning I got an official statement from the Ministry of Defence:

Yesterday, decision has been taken to procure the needed 6.400 balaclavas immediately. They will be issued to the soldiers participating in the VJTF in due time. The order you quoted has been rescinded.

The original story:

For 2019, the Bundeswehr is preparing to take over the lead of NATO’s spearhead, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). In October and November, a major exercise dubbed Trident Juncture is planned in Norway – and as it was the case for the interim VJTF in 2015, the German army has to borrow equipment for its VJTF component throughout the armed forces.

However, lack of gear has reached a new level now, highlighted by an order to all services: All soldiers not taking part in Trident Juncture have to return their balaclavas, part of the officially issued winter gear, to collecting points for issue to units deploying to Norway in autumn. weiterlesen

75 Jahre Stars&Stripes in Europa: Samstag in Kaiserslautern/Ramstein

(scroll down for English version)

Die US-Soldatenzeitung Stars&Stripes, auch das hat sehr viel mit deutscher Geschichte zu tun, kam im April 1942 nach Europa. Diese 75-jährige Geschichte dieses sehr interessanten Mediums ist hier sehr schön zusammengefasst, aber: Es wird am kommenden Wochenende dazu auch ein paar Veranstaltungen geben. Natürlich in der größten US-Garnison in Deutschland, in Kaiserslautern, und auf der benachbarten Airbase Ramstein.

Und da werde ich auch anwesend sein: Bei den Events gibt es eine Podiumsdiskussion, unter anderem mit einem  representative from the German media, und das bin, hm, ich. Am Abend beim formal dinner bin ich auch dabei.

Ich weiß nun nicht wirklich, ob und wie viele Leser ich im US-Militär in Deutschland habe. Wenn es welche gibt, wenn sie am Samstag in Ramstein anwesend sind: Just say hello. Würde mich freuen.

English version weiterlesen

General Atomics to challenge German Bundeswehr Drone Procurement Decision in Court


The procurement process for the first armed drones for the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, will be delayed by three to nine months after U.S. drone manufacturer General Atomics challenged the procurement decision for Israeli-built Heron TP UAVs in court, the German Defense Ministry told lawmakers on Tuesday. weiterlesen

Germany to procure Israeli Heron TP UAV for the Bundeswehr


Germany has decided to start the procurement process for Israeli-built Heron TP UAV for its armed forces, the Bundeswehr, defence minister Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday.

„Our chief of defence has decided that we will go into negotiation with the Israelis with the aim of leasing the Heron TP as a recconaissance drone to protect our soldiers“, von der Leyen told reporters in Berlin. „We are talking about an UAV that can be armed. This will be the standard in the future, because this is important for the protection of our soldiers on deployment“, she added.

With Tuesday’s decision, the German MoD rejected a proposal by U.S. UAV manufacturer General Atomics to procure its Predator unmanned aircraft. weiterlesen

German Armed forces to scrap G36 Assault Rifle, will procure new system

The German Armed Foces will replace its standard weapon, the G36 assault rifle, with a new system. Procuring of a new assault rifle could begin as early as 2019, under secretary for procurement Katrin Suder told the Bundestag’s defence committee on Tuesday. The decision comes after months of heated debate over the shortfalls of the G36, manufactured by the German company Heckler&Koch. According to the Ministry of Defence, the rifle lacks precision when overheating after hundreds of rounds in a battle situation, but also when subject to temperature change in hot climate.

The precision problems had been discovered as early as 2012, but only after several years of testing defence minister Ursula von der Leyen decreed in March that the G36, of which the Bundeswehr had procured approximately 170,000 units, „in its current construction status will have no future in the Bundeswehr“. Hoewever, before Tuesday’s decision the ministry also had considered the option to upgrade the weapons in its arsenal. Instead, the armed forces will procure „a new generation of assault rifles“, Suder told lawmakers. Requirements for the new standard assault rifle, to be defined until mid-November,  „are going far beyond an upgrade of the G36“, which has been in service for almost 20 years. weiterlesen

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