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German military efficiency

#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.
 
#3
You forgot "strike through Poland and the former USSR to reach the oil in the Caucasus".
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
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.

Related Topics
Europe
Land Warfare
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.
Hmm! wonder if the MoD will take note, after all ewe did take on their Manual of Drill.
 
#6
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.
 
#7
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.
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.
 
#8
Legacy of their conscription army, which only ceased a few years ago.
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.
 
#9
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.
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.
 
#10
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.
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.
 
#11
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.
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?
 
#12
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... ;-)
 
#14
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.
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
 
#15
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
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.
 
#16
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.
Hi GBS. Couple of threads have pointed to the fact that there is a decline in financial management of the western powers: simply we are all living the good life. Bit late and not sure whether to tip the thread - the US are good at killing lots of innocent people or remain serious, Italian rations can be quite good, especialls the wine, though the Germans do beer.

Seriously, I get the feeling that we are fcuked financially, and it may only be a matter of time before we are learning Chinese: so my job is shafted then.
 
#17
Well, I doubt this "interoprability" stuff very much.
One nation provides the fighting units, the other only CSS and COMS? One paying in blood the other in $ so to speak. This will be how the "public opinion" will see it.

Hell, I still remeber the press articles about german troops dodging the fight 'cos we "picked the quiete place of AFG".
 
#18
The German civil service is massive, more than twice the size of the British one on a per tax payer head basis. They are quite adept at hiding the true size of it's constituent parts, the none civil service civilian public sector employes are also suitably disguised in agencies and hidden within unit establishments. Many service personnel are misused in petty roles and jobs which have nothing to do with fighting. Thats why with a paper strength of:

Reserves Available for call up for military service 19,594,118 (2009 est.), age 17–49

Reserves Fit for call up for military service 15,747,493 (2009 est.), age 17–49

Active personnel service 148,996 regulars

Reserve personnel (like the TA) c. 355,000 regular reserve

they struggle to field an infantry brigade!

The list for 3000+ Ministry personnel is of those people who work in the main headquarters building, thats like listing the pentagon staff as the entire American defence effort.....
 
#19
I've worked a lot with the Bundeswehr and there are some good blokes in it, if you can ignore all the fat noshers and the poncey time servers.

They are back on a learning curve now with overseas deployments, previously a nine to five army and "ooh mind me nails, river crossing what me, i'll catch me death and i've just had me hair done." It's still hard to tempt them out of a barracks.

They rely heavily on the civilian community as they were meant to fight at home, this means the logistics chain is at the mercy of civilian suppliers.

They always intended to tap into the local phone lines, as did we in the cold war, for security reasons. That means they tend to lurk in or near buildings. Even the CO of a batallion will count himself lucky if he has access to his own radio comms.

They still haven't lost their camp watch tower mentality having forgotten the lessons of two world wars, for example they seem to like putting their MGs high up in buildings and other features (and thereby exposed) with little apparent understanding of beaten patterns or interlocking fields of fire.

Their kit is quite dated, the new rifle is impractical and quite dire and the food is always crap.

All in all it's like the TA without the old hands.....
 
#20
They always intended to tap into the local phone lines, as did we in the cold war, for security reasons. That means they tend to lurk in or near buildings. Even the CO of a batallion will count himself lucky if he has access to his own radio comms.....
Well, you've answered a question ... One of the TA old and bold mentioned that while on dug in on exercise in the 1980's he had a field telephone in his trench that was connected to the civilian phone network. He said he was actually able to call his wife in the UK from his trench in the middle of a German field. I though he was having me on, but it looks like I was mistaken to have doubted him!
 

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