Germany 'considering merger of armed forces'

16th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

16 December 2005, BERLIN - Germany's Defence Ministry on Friday denied a report that a proposal to restructure the country's military command would lead to the army, navy and air force being merged.

16 December 2005

BERLIN - Germany's Defence Ministry on Friday denied a report that a proposal to restructure the country's military command would lead to the army, navy and air force being merged.

Ministry spokesman Thomas Raabe said proposals under consideration were purely aimed at improving deployment capability.

Earlier, Die Welt daily reported there had been a storm of protest from service chiefs over what they consider the most dramatic change yet in Germany's quarter-million-strong, largely conscript forces.

In most nations, the army, navy and air force are independent. Canada was the first major nation to merge them.

Die Welt said Wolfgang Schneiderhan, inspector-general of the armed forces and Germany's highest-ranking officer, had proposed a restructuring at a recent meeting of the Military Leadership Council MFR. Fierce protest from the three service arms followed.

Schneiderhan proposed that the commands of the army, navy and air force initially be brought under the direction of the deployment command, based at Potsdam, just west of the capital Berlin.

According to Die Welt, this would mean that the existing service chiefs - the "inspectors" of the army, air force and navy - would be bypassed in the chain of command. The German armed forces were established 50 years ago, a decade after the collapse of Nazi Germany.

DPA

Subject: German news

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