Di Vincenzo Santo*
(Da EURACTIV.com with Reuters – 5 aprile 2018)
Berlin. The German military on Wednesday (4 April) put a short-range air defence unit with about 450 soldiers under Dutch command, further deepening ties between the two NATO allies. […] Brigadier General Michael Gschossmann, commander of ground-based units for the German air force, said last week the move was politically significant and could pave the way for joint development of new weapons and joint operation of longer-range missile defence systems such as the Patriot. Germany and other European countries are racing to expand defence cooperation, citing perceived US isolationism under President Donald Trump and the threat posed by Russia as well as instability in Africa and the Middle East.
The German and Dutch militaries have already knitted together some land forces and naval elements, train together on missile defence, and have developed a joint concept of operations for missile defence forces. Wednesday’s move marks the first expansion of those ties to include the German air forces.
The German unit will be under Dutch control, but its troops will remain based in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, responsible for the ground-based Mantis system used to protect military sites from artillery and rocket attacks. […] Germany has closer military ties with the Netherlands than any other European Union country. The Dutch military put some 2,000 paratroopers under German control in 2014, and the two countries linked up their tank divisions two years later.
*Generale CA ris
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