May 30, 2013 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Netherlands Information Service; posted May 29, 2013)
THE HAGUE --- The partnership between the Dutch and German armies is moving to an “unprecedented level of integration,” said Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert in Berlin Tuesday.
The two countries signed an agreement Tuesday. “This means that the needs, procedures, education and training will be harmonised,” said Hennis at the Berlin Strategy Conference. This is “a commitment for the long term at all levels.”
The agreements mean among other things that the Netherlands 11 Air Manoeuvre Brigade (the mobile air brigade) will be integrated with the yet to be established Division Schnelle Kräfte (DSK). The joint staff will be in Germany.
Additionally, the ground air and missile defence units will expand their partnership. Here, too, a single joint staff will be formed. Finally, the submarine services will join forces. Education and training will be followed jointly.
Serious work has to be undertaken to get “our collective needs and national priorities” in line. This does not however mean that a European army is emerging, the minister stressed. But “sovereignty does have to be defined differently.”
Speech by Minister Hennis at the Berlin Strategy Conference