British Army Builds Bridges With Germany
UK-German Joint Vision Statement Affirms Defence Relationship Beyond Brexit
The UK’s Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson, and his German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen, signed a Joint Vision Statement today deepening the already strong UK-German relationship and increasing defence co-operation across a range of areas, from tackling violent extremism to building new military capabilities.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“Although we are preparing to leave the EU, our commitment to European security is resolute.
“The statement signed today strengthens UK-German ties and bolsters the defence of two key NATO partners. This is an alliance we both hold dear.”
Minden Amphibious Engineers Demonstrate Value of Interoperability
The Defence Secretary also attended a demonstration from UK and German military personnel who form part of the combined river-crossing capability in Minden – a capability vital to NATO operations. The visit comes after the announcement that the Army will be permanently based in the country beyond 2020.
The British Army’s wide-wet gap crossing capability is provided by 23 Amphibious Engineer Troop and 412 Amphibious Engineer Troop, 75 Engineer Regiment, Corps of Royal Engineers, working in conjunction with the German Army’s Panzerpioneerbataillon 130 at Herzog von Braunschweig Kaserne, Minden.
The events in Germany followed a meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels, in which Mr. Williamson stood shoulder to shoulder with Allies in condemnation of reckless and indiscriminate Russian cyber-attacks.
At NATO HQ, he discussed the importance of the alliance being ready to respond not only to the threats from the East but also from the South and announced that the British Army would be deepening co-operation with partners through linking 1 Div HQ, which leads overseas military capacity building, to NATO’s emerging Defence Capacity Building initiatives.
He also attended NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group (NPG), consulting with counterparts to ensure the alliance has the necessary tools and procedures in place to respond to a nuclear crisis.
Image: German and British M3 amphibious vehicles giving a bridge building demonstration (Crown Copyright, 2018).