Germany Puts Air Defense Unit Under Foreign Control in ‘New Era’ for EU Military

The first-ever “sharing parenthood” of the air force marks a milestone in the creation of a German-Dutch joint military, which began more than 20 years ago, and falls in line with expansion of the all-European common defense system PESCO.

Following a path of military cooperation between Germany and the Netherlands, the Hague is taking 450 soldiers from an air force base on German soil close to the Dutch border under its wing. The unit will remain stationed in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. They are to protect military objects from ground attacks.

Berlin retains command in foreign operations abroad. However, both countries must agree to deploy the forces together.

Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen noted that the transition of command has added momentum to the military cooperation between the two countries.

“We share common values and interests, believe in our European future, and are strong partners in the trans-Atlantic alliance. We want to tap into synergies to improve our existing capabilities and build up new ones,” she said, according to the DW web-site.

The German air force is involved in the process of cooperation between the two militaries for the first time in its history, which began as far as in 1995. Over the course of more than twenty years, Germany has taken command of over 2,000 Dutch paratroopers and united their tank groups.

This process falls in line with the EU efforts to establish the…

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