29 Jul 2011 By JULIAN HALE DefenseNews
BRUSSELS - Germany is looking to make progress on a maritime patrol aircraft pool, a European Union multinational joint headquarters (JHQ) and other high-priority military ideas at a workshop it is hosting in September and October.
At first sight, the maritime patrol aircraft pool looks to have more potential, as the JHQ has been opposed by the U.K. and requires all 26 EU member states taking part in the EU's defense policy to agree for it to proceed.
"Using the European Air Transport Command as a template, a management structure for the coordination of maritime patrol resources and capabilities could be established, bringing together partial, fragmented national capabilities into a European pool," a German Ministry of Defence official said.
The aim of the workshop is to gain thorough information on member states' interest. "Nations who have declared their intention to participate in this initiative will also have to discuss the topic of sharing the use of maritime patrol aircraft in real-world operations," the official said.
The maritime patrol aircraft pool is one of some 300 proposals for pooling and sharing put together by the EU's military staff. Other high-priority project ideas, which have not yet been planned in detail and have also been forwarded to NATO, include:
■ A JHQ, which the U.K. opposes, would build on the existing German Response Forces Operations Command and be used at the operational level by both the EU and NATO.
■ A maritime auxiliary pool would create a European pool of auxiliary ships.
■ Biological detection and defense would be made up of eight subprojects, which comprehensively address capability shortfalls in biological-agent defense.
■ A multinational simulation network would further develop simulation network prototypes such as helicopters. Such networks would offer a broad scope ranging from basic training up to mission rehearsal in complex virtual environments.
■ Multinational academic education would design and implement a European network of military academic institutions with mutual acceptance and recognition of academic qualifications.
As for the JHQ, the German official said that "a detailed analysis of costs has not been conducted so far."
"Next to costs, operational issues are also to be considered. In general, a multinational JHQ could dispose of a 'lessons learnt' department. However, details concerning the possible structure of a multinational Joint HQ have not been worked out so far," he added.
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