Germany plans reactivation of decommissioned military facilities

BERLIN, JAN 15 — Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) plans to put eight decommissioned military storage facilities for material and ammunition back into service, the defense ministry announced on Tuesday.

According to the German defense ministry, “changed security policy framework conditions” would increase storage requirements for spare parts and operating materials for the “entire spectrum of weapons and equipment used by the German Federal Armed Forces.”

The plan that will be implemented between 2020 and 2031 includes five storage facilities for military equipment as well as three ammunition storages in five German states.

The reactivation of the facilities will require around 600 additional soldiers and investments of around 200 million euros (228 million U.S. dollars). “More staff and materials also mean more need for further infrastructure,” the defense ministry stated.

In the coming years, the German Armed Forces are expected to increase the number of soldiers from today’s 180,000 to 203,000 by 2025, the German newspaper Bid reported in November last year. The additional forces will mainly be employed as part of the NATO Response Force (NRF), ensuring cyber security and other European projects.

Germany has been under international pressure to increase its military budget. “If you look at NATO, where Germany pays 1 percent and we are paying 4.2 percent of a much bigger GDP, that’s not fair,” U.S. President Donald Trump criticized.

Last year, Germany’s defense spending was 1.13 percent of its GDP, far below the 2 percent NATO target that was agreed by member states in 2014. Member states have to reach that target by 2024. – XINHUA