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De Maizière promises to equip soldiers better

The Local · 17 Jul 2011, 15:04

Published: 17 Jul 2011 15:04 GMT+02:00

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"We take the protection of our soldiers by adequate equipment and supplies very seriously," the minister told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

The German parliament's defence commissioner Hellmut Königshaus presented a report this week that suggested that Bundeswehr soldiers in Afghanistan lacked equipment and vital medical provisions, including blood plasma.

The report also listed a shortage of weapons, as well as faults in the water supply and air conditioning in military vehicles.

The commissioner said that temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius had been measured inside Germany's Marder tanks. De Maizière countered that the air conditioning systems were being repaired.

De Maizière also said that the shortage of blood plasma was down to stringent German medical regulations. "In Germany, blood plasma is only allowed to be conserved for five days," he said. In other countries, such as the Netherlands, blood plasma can apparently be conserved for up to two years.

"We are in the process of ending such bureaucratic problems," the minister said.

But de Maizière admitted that the Bundeswehr is forced to rely on US helicopters. "Of course we have to rely on the helicopters of our allies," he told the paper. "It is, after all, in a joint operation. In the future, some NATO partners will not have certain capacities, and will rely on its allies. That isn't dependency, but cooperation."

Story continues below…

DAPD/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:03 July 17, 2011 by belladons
This issue should NEVER be an issue. Somethings wrong here.
17:08 July 17, 2011 by Lachner
The lack of governmental and public support of the Bundeswehr is a disgrace! I cannot believe that the 5th richest country in the World would allow its soldiers in Afghanistan to have shortages in ammo, equipment and medical supplies. The German firearms industry is one of the best and most powerful in the World and the German healthcare and pharmaceutical is World Class, yet the soldiers are fighting with their nails in the Middle East. This is retarded! Send the troops ammo, tanks, helicopters, armored vehicles and high quality healthcare and supplies.

I hate this!
17:19 July 17, 2011 by Englishted
The problem is nobody knows what the Bundeswehr is doing there,

Is it just to train the police,and help rebuilding, or is it to help defeat the Taliban.

When that is answered then the politicians can give them the tools for the job.

I agree it is a disgrace to sent men and women into danger without the very best safety equipment you have.But air conditioning in military vehicles should be around the bottom of that list.
17:25 July 17, 2011 by Lachner
I know very little about the Bundeswehr, so please help me learn a bit more. How skilled and trained are they in comparison to US Forces in terms of firearms' marksmanship, fitness, discipline and courage under fire among others? All I know is that they rarely engage in the battle front as US Forces do and that they are there to train the Afghan Police. I would think that given the German culture of hard work, discipline, efficiency and obsession with perfectionism as well as the quality of the GSG9 special forces, that the Bundeswehr could be one of the World's military elites. Plus they have a very solid weapons industry and plenty of money to fund it.
18:00 July 17, 2011 by Englishted

Are you a spy ?.
18:07 July 17, 2011 by Lachner
Uhhh, no...but funny reply though! My last name is German, but I was born in Central America. Just curious about the Bundeswehr as I am a big fan of the US Army.
18:37 July 17, 2011 by c12dat
60C temp in a tank ... that is debilitating when the soldier have to wear all of his protective clothing. It feels much more 60C. Not of top of the list of what to have, but is certainly needed to the armor crew.

A few weeks ago there was an article about helicopter noise complaints from small group out of Ansbach. Someone should forward this article to those folks.
22:45 July 17, 2011 by farmon
@ Englished

Just in case you don't understand how hot 60C is, that translates to 140 degrees Fairenheit.
23:46 July 17, 2011 by heyheyhey
@c12dat, re. A few weeks ago there was an article about helicopter noise complaints from small group out of Ansbach. Someone should forward this article to those folks.

These are different issues.

Get over it, will you? You military boys are not the be all and end all when it comes to deciding what is OK and what is not. Get a life; a real life. Broaden your horizons.
05:28 July 18, 2011 by c12dat
Hey heyheyhey

German forces replies on the helicopters of the allied forces ... Same helicopters are based in Ansbach ... They need to train to support all forces engaged in combat in Afghanistan. Someone need to forward this article to those folks next time they complain about noise.

A very broad statement on the last paragraph. I don't know how you come up with such a statement.

heyheyhey you have me at a disadvantage. You know what I do, but I don't know yours. What is your life like? A real life? Do tell. At FL250, my horizon looks awesome.
06:19 July 18, 2011 by heyheyhey

Of course you do not know what I do. You brag endlessly. You could determine what i do if you were to shut your mouth and listen for a change.

Someone, like you, who REALLY had an awesome horizon, would not need to try to convince by bragging. You deceive yourself, as usual. I imagine that you have suffered some brain injury, given your chosen field of employment. It goes with the territory. BTW, military life is not a REAL life, just in case you need to be advised. It is sort of like cowboys and Indians we all used to play. Bang, bang!!
07:02 July 18, 2011 by c12dat
Hey heyheyhey,

angry angry angry

So what is your life like? A real life? Do tell. Give me something to aspire to be when I grow up.

A nice day to you Sir/Ma'am
17:32 July 18, 2011 by Englishted

Your point is what?

I know it is hot but if there is a weapon shortage and a water shortage those must come first.

If you as the soldiers it would be later in the list.

However it is wrong that there is a list at all. I'm sure you agree.
18:28 July 18, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
When a soldier dies over there, I wonder what the C.O. of his unit writes home about why he died? It is a tragedy that families are losing their sons in a terrible country (that Germany is NOT at war with), and the reasons for being there aren't distinct or clear. I am grateful that our government is fighting terrorism (so there won't be another RAF Meinhof incident!), but what is the plan? Do they have one?
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