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Bundeswehr to boost air power with US attack helicopters

DPA/The Local · 16 May 2010, 11:53

Published: 16 May 2010 11:53 GMT+02:00

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“As of June thanks to US help, well above 50 helicopters will be available, but under German command,” Guttenberg told the paper.

Bundeswehr troops in Afghanistan previously had only six to eight helicopters at their disposal.

Defence Minister Guttenberg requested help from the US military, Germany’s partner in the Afghanistan mission, in light of ongoing technical problems with the European attack helicopter “Tiger” – which has resulted in substantial delivery delays.

The issue of properly outfitting Bundeswehr troops for the mission in Afghanistan has been a hotly debated subject after three German soldiers were killed during a Taliban ambush in the Kunduz region of the country on April 2.

Guttenberg responded by announcing plans to provide the German mission in Afghanistan with 150 to 200 new vehicles in 2010.

Story continues below…

He also recently promised to provide soldiers with two new PzH 2000 armed vehicles “as soon as possible” during a surprise visit with troops stationed at headquarters in northern Afghanistan.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:13 May 16, 2010 by Wiesel
I still can't believe it. We have the stuff. e.g. the PzH 2000 for a long time right now. We sold them to the dutch, they've used it abroad. So why aren't we using it too? Comrades dying in AFG and many complain that there is bad equipment at all. We should not do half things - all of nothing
15:37 May 16, 2010 by hanskarl
Jim Dandy to the rescue!
22:16 May 16, 2010 by Frenemy
considering that the panzer2000 is the most advanced (fielded) self-prop howitzer in the world, I find it outright despicable that the paper-pushers in Berlin have delayed its deployment in Afghanistan for so long... (we could really have used this puppy like 2 years ago)
04:32 May 17, 2010 by derExDeutsche
Is it just me, or is Germany dependent on the US military presence in Germany. If US troops were not there, Germany would have to spend a lot more than they currently do on its own defense. Aren't Euros in shorter supply these days?

Is it a surprise that they buy a few helos from time to time, from the Guys saving them a few Euro?
15:54 May 17, 2010 by Hebbellover
@kato - hmmm so the US had to beg the Bundeswehr to guard some U.S. bases? Boy talk about ingrates, I do believe the U.S. spent trillions defending Western Europe from Schroeders communist buddies, how about a little gratitude?
19:09 May 17, 2010 by Major B
For many of us, the way military operations have proceeded in Northern Afghanistan is frustrating. Perhaps, given historical considerations, this is to be expected. We just feel that the Bundeswehr could go at it much more aggressively. Then, we are countered with "you made us change and adopt new strategies years ago so don't expect us to act like the Wehrmacht". O.K. No one is asking that - just do the damn job and get it over with already. The Chancelor has asked her nation to "be courageous" and the time is now!!

Just know that the US strategy in Northern Afghanistan is a big vote of CONFIDENCE for Germany. Proof? The U.S. troops being sent there will be under German command, a decision that is not taken lightly. There are only 2 or 3 nations that would EVER be allowed to command US military and Germany is one of them. Let's see if you can finally emerge from the shadows of WWII. If not now, it won't happen and a historical chance will be lost. Chancelor Kohl understood that, appealed to G.W Bush(the good one) and a nation was healed. Normal nation status is beckoning!!!!!!!
14:55 May 18, 2010 by Frenemy
@kato: you're right, we need more troops. But short of a complete overhaul of the German constitution (and psycho/social attitude of the average German) that just ain't gonna happen. The best we can hope for is the deployment of better tech to act as a force multiplier for the few *volunteer/professional* troops we have.

As for pzh2000, I can think of several situations in which it would have been really nice to have had the support (and peace of mind) of having German artillery standing-by for danger close...
15:58 May 18, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
The US was responsible for defending Europe against the Soviet union?

That's odd. I really thought US presence in Europe was limited to a few hundred thousand. I can, however, vividly recall several occasions where my Dad left in the middle of the night because his PzGen division was placed on alert.

The US chose to operate the nuclear umbrella. Yes, absolutely; and thanks for that, it saved a lot of money. However, I think the 11 million active personnel, 45 million class A reserves, and 60 million class C reserves that comprised the european portion of NATO had a lot more to do with the Soviet Union not smashing into the continent than the US did.

We're a lot larger than you, and we're perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves. You want a presence in Europe. Fine; have it. Your costs are clear. There is no real difference if you leave, except who operates the nuclear umbrella.
18:57 May 18, 2010 by Hebbellover
@kato what are you talking about? Germany was a sovereign nation long before reunification of the two Germanies. Besides, if your neighbors had their way, you would still be divided....and yes, you are welcome!
19:01 May 18, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Actually, Germany was not sovereign until the 2+4 contract. Additionally, as for the US stance, the President made it quite clear in private conversation that he opposed the unification of Germany since it would marginalize British power in Europe.

So, yeah, thanks for nothing. If you want to thank someone for East Germany opening it's border, and for Germany's reunification, thank Chancellor Kohl and his idea of Ostpolitik.
00:40 May 19, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Yeah, I thank Chancellor Kohl every time I pay my additional taxes for the "reunification" of a Germany that had been two separate countries for 40 years. What a brilliant idea that was!
00:59 May 19, 2010 by wxman
The US should get out of Germany, South Korea and Japan. They can take care of themselves.
00:26 July 7, 2010 by panzercommandant@live.com
i dont care what they do to SK and japan but yeagh germanys a big boy now we can take care of ourselves
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