German military efficiency

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Kromeriz, Jun 18, 2011.

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  1. Below is an article from Germany Unveils 11 Projects To Trim The Military - Defense News Defence News.

    I have heard of German efficiency, but in the article they say that the German MoD functions with 3,100 personnel which will be reduced to 2,000ish. Could someone enlighten me as to whether this is a typo or the Germans just being efficient. Lessons for UK MoD and forces?

    BONN – Germany's defense secretary has set up 11 project groups to fill in the details of the military's planned restructuring, which follows his May unveiling of defense policy guidelines.

    "We really take up quite a lot there," Thomas de Maizière said at a June 10 kick-off presentation in Berlin.

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    The groups will work independently, but a steering committee will control the process, along with the task force on structural reform. The committee will include state secretary Rüdiger Wolf, Generalinspekteur general Volker Wieker and states secretary Stéphane Beemelmans.

    All projects will have to make decisions relevant to the future basing by this fall, when defense secretary de Maizière wants to present the final concept.

    In order from one to 11, the projects will:

    ■ Reshape the Bundeswehr's structure to a maximum of 185,000 personnel, including reservists; and a leaner command structure with new roles for the Generalinspekteur and the chief of staffs of the individual services.

    ■ Write the new basing concept of military and civilian elements.

    ■ Shape the German defense department's reduction from today's 3,100 military and civilian employees to 2,100.

    ■ Organize staff management and create a recruitment branch.

    ■ Plan a quick and socially acceptable reduction of the military and civil personnel to reach the final personnel headline goals.

    ■ Make coherent the Bundeswehr's education and qualification sector.

    ■ Create the new materiel and utilization management. Its goal is a new procurement process with an optimized IT.

    ■ Adjust the structures and optimize the processes in the infrastructure and service sectors.

    ■ Devise a new concept for the Bundeswehr's reserve force.

    ■ Works on governance and control.
  2. You forgot "strike through Poland and the former USSR to reach the oil in the Caucasus".
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  3. No need. They have done an underhand deal with the Russians for Nord Stream, thus bypassing and undermining EU efforts to get supplies via Nabucco. Nabucco would secure continuity of supplies from other providers whenever the Russians decide to close the taps.
  4. Hmm! wonder if the MoD will take note, after all ewe did take on their Manual of Drill.
  5. I think you'll find that in Germany there are various civilian manned organisations that in UK are counted as 'MoD' but in Germany are not, BWB leaps to mind.
  6. Just about to say that. Also a large swathe of their CS are uniformed. They are just the same as our CS, but with a para-military bent.

    Legacy of their conscription army, which only ceased a few years ago. If they are in OG (or blue in some cases) they are conscripts, civvies in uniform or quasi-military formations.

    If they are in flektarn then they are Regular or Reservists Soldiers as we would equate to the Regs and TA in UK. If wearing an 'I fight for Merkal' badge, they are probably Afghan vets.
  7. That should come as a surprise to the Bundeswehr conscripts that have just been drafted in the latest intake. They do intend to suspend compulsory conscription and are busy working out a scheme for voluntary conscription, for the community-minded and potential recruits. They are not going to abolish it altogether, but reserve the right to re-establish call up in the right circumstances.

    The German MoD is a government level organisation and is about 3000 strong over two main sites, Berlin and Bonn. They are mainly CS and carry out the admin and political tasks required for the running of the ministry itself. There are separate offices for each of the main force components, with the Heeresamt being the one for the army. There are, as already pointed out, a number of agencies which take care of the admin roles such as BImA, Bundesimmobilienamt, which looks after property; the BundeswehrInfrastruktur, BWI, which looks after CIS and IT infrastructure and services; and the ITAmt, which is very specialised looking after software, applications and security policy.

    The head of the armed forces is not a General in Germany, and the senior MoD staff in charge of it all are also civvies. They are known as Staatssekretaer, and are in place to ensure that the military is completely under civilian control. The Bundeswehr cannot take its own decisions on spending and deployments, but has to refer back to this group for any substantial policy or funding decisions. Although this might not seem to be too different from the UK set-up, the Staatssekretariat is their equivalent of our CDS, VCDS, CGS, CAS and CNS.

    The Bundeswehr is about to be chopped radically, and is placing its focus on providing infrastructure services, such as comms, log, transport and medical services for future NATO collective ops. Unlike us, they actually have a plan to do some things well, rather than trying do everything at a reduced level.
  8. That's not necessarily a good thing, because what nation wants to depend on another nation to provide their critical support in a joint op? It's hard enough getting all the services of one nation to cooperate effectively with one another, much less the services of an entirely different nation. All it takes is a few mistakes - perceived or not - on one party before the relationship breaks down completely. Humans love to blame each other.

    At least with the current area of control scheme, each nation is responsible for it's own bit of the sandbox and can be held accountable for what happens therein, rather than muddying its lines with trying to make some kind of Frankenstein military force.
  9. As things stand at the moment I agree with you. However if you make two basic assumptions this works perfectly well: 1. Future military ops will be conducted in a pre-determined coalition framework. 2. Each component of the coalition is capable of completing its tasks to defined standard.

    This, in short, is known as interoperability, and is an extension of the accepted principles of Auftragstaktik, or mission command. Or to put it another way, military black box thinking. If the inputs and outputs are clearly defined, and can be guaranteed, then the system can be put together in a modular fashion, making force generation simpler and planning more logical.

    It is no different to building something from parts, where the parameters of each of the parts are known in advance.
  10. While I, personally, would love for things to work this way, I sincerely doubt that they will (in my lifetime, at least) because of that foil-to-end-all-foils: Human nature. No possible way to guarantee clearly defined inputs and outputs when people are involved, as anyone who's worked with Privates well knows!

    Considering how much flak REMF troops take from line troops, I have a hard time seeing how reducing a nation's military to REMF capabilities would establish a groundwork of trust and respect. But, hey, who knows where we'll be in twenty years?
  11. Germany is considering trimming the Heer down to 185,000 bods including Reserve forces? :? Seems kind of drastic to me but maybe they aren't planning any unilateral exercises in the East in the near future... ;-)
  12. My bad, got confused with France who axed their conscription a while ago.

    French, German they both the same... well at certain times in their historys.
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  13. As most speakers are saying now, interoperability is the only way to go forward. Only America can field the unified fighting force required, although, I am lost with the talk of air to air refuelling as I thought it was us helping US forces a few moons ago because of the age of their tanker fleet.

    However, there is one thing in common for all NATO countries and that is debt, unless it is solved, even America will begin to suffer from the same terminal decline that is afflicting other NATO countries.

    Should Germany be able to define a concept of interoperability, then as long as SACEUR can over ride national governments and order deployment of the force components, that will be the only way to go in the current financial times
  14. This is almost a case of economics at work in the military environment. Each specialises in what it can do best and what it must do for itself. In your area you will see that the Czechs are currently specialising in CBRN, 'technical niches' and common or collective training. The US is good at remote recce and kinetic firepower, the UK in SF, the French in mounting fast expeditionary ops and the Belgians at causing and maintaining rifts in small communities.