German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr (armed forces chief) General Eberhard Zorn presented a document with the main points of the continuing reform of Germany’s military on 18 May. The document seeks to accelerate procurement, streamline the command structure, and increase the readiness of the Bundeswehr.
Germany plans to establish system houses bundling expertise in particular systems such as the Eurofighter. (Janes/Patrick Allen)
The document does not seek radical reforms and no personnel cuts or base closures are planned. The target continues to be for a Bundeswehr personnel strength of 203,300 soldiers and 67,800 civilians.
However, it is planned to streamline the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and its staff so they can concentrate on core tasks, with an emphasis on working with the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, oversight of subordinate areas, and strategic co-ordination and leadership of the Bundeswehr. The ministry will continue to be located in both Berlin and Bonn.
A national territorial defence command will also be established in both the cities. In addition to territorial defence, it will support NATO and EU allies during exercises and when their forces transit Germany. At the tactical command level, Germany’s 16 regional defence commands will be reinforced and further developed.
Command of the Bundeswehr’s forces will be strengthened with domain commands: land, air/space, and cyber and information. In addition to army, Luftwaffe, and navy chiefs, there will be one for the cyber and information domain. A medical command will also be established in April 2022.