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Military of GermanyIn 2011, several major structural changes to the German defense began; inter alia the military service was replaced by a voluntary basic education. The changes in the German defense are the largest since 1990, when Germany reunited and two defense forces became one.

In 1989, the largest concentration of combat forces in the world was in the two German states. During the period 1955–89, West Germany's (BRD) defense force was integrated into NATO and East Germany's (GDR) into the Warsaw Pact. The GDR's defense, the National People's Army (NVA), consisted of a standing force of 170,000 men, with a total mobilization of 390,000 men. In addition, there were 40,000 men in border protection troops and a militia of 500,000 men.

Military of Germany

The Soviet Army had 400,000 men with its most modern defense equipment stationed in the GDR. West Germany's defense consisted of a standing force of 470,000 men, including 200,000 conscripts, totaling 1,350,000 in mobilization. The border protection troops included 20,000 men. NATO had 400,000 men (mainly American but also major British, French, Dutch and Belgian allies) stationed in the BRD for an advanced defense against the Warsaw Pact.

The defense of the United Germany has been based since 1990 on continued membership in NATO. In the 1990 agreement between the four victorious forces in World War II and the two German states, the new joint German defense force was limited in 1994 to a maximum of 370,000 men standing, of which 60,000 in the eastern part. The Soviet Union/Russian Federation pledged to leave Germany by 1994. No NATO allies would be stationed in eastern Germany. Under the CFE Agreement 1990 (revised 1996), Germany's military force is limited to a maximum of 345,000 men.

A discussion was held in 2003 within the EU on a common European defense and security policy in the formulation of the new EU constitution. Germany, France and others States stated in the same year that the transatlantic ties are of strategic importance to NATO and thus to Europe's defense. Today (2011), greater coordination of NATO's defense efforts is partly at the expense of national versatility. Examples include common procurement of materials, coordinated training and the distribution of defense tasks between Member States. The issue of a common European defense is still open in 2011.

The developments in Afghanistan and the conclusions of the conflict between the Russian Federation and Georgia (2008) have raised the question of the balance between traditional, territorial defense and non-territorial interventions, e.g. in Afghanistan, at its peak. Germany's four-year defense plan from 2009 with the priority of strategic means of transport, strategic intelligence gathering ability, management system and strategic air defense will be seen in this context.

As noted by Digopaul, Germany participates in all NATO activities in Germany and is a member of the European Corps (Strasbourg), the German-Dutch Corps (Münster) and the North-East Corps (Szczecin). Management bodies and all-round allied resources are coordinated. Of the NATO states, the United States has 53,000 men in Germany, of whom the army has 38,000 and the Air Force 17,000 men. The UK has 18,000 men in Germany, mainly army, France has 2,800 men and Canada has 270 men. Germany has staff in France and Poland as well as educational resources in the USA.

Germany's defense amounted to 251,000 men in 2011 and the reserves to 40,000 men. In connection with the cessation of military service on 1 July 2011, an initial reduction of 40,000 men was implemented.

The combat forces are organized in an army of 105,000 men with 5 division staffs and 12 brigades, one of which is an airborne and one for air landing, and has 768 tanks and 190 combat helicopters. The navy comprises 19,000 men with 4 submarines, 20 fighters/frigates, 10 patrol boats and a naval aircraft with sea surveillance tasks.

The Air Force comprises 44,500 men with approximately 310 fighter aircraft and a well-developed air defense with the Patriot and Roland robots. The equipment is modern by NATO standard. Defense costs decreased in 1985–2009 from 3.2% to 1.4% of GDP.

Germany participates in a number of UN peacekeeping efforts. Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR), Serbia and Montenegro (KFOR), Afghanistan (ISAF), Lebanon (UNIFIL) and Uzbekistan (ISAF). It also participates with maritime forces in the international operation in the waters outside the Horn of Africa (EUNAVFOR).

Germany's defense overview

Germany is a member of NATO. General military duty was abolished with effect from 1 July 2011. The total force for Germany's armed forces is 179,400 active personnel, with a reserve of 28,250 personnel (2018, IISS).

Of foreign forces stationed in Germany, France had 2,000 personnel, the United Kingdom 3750 personnel and the United States 37,950 personnel.


The army has a personnel force of 61,700 active personnel, and a reserve of 6500 personnel. Heavier materials include 236 tanks of a Leopard 2, 578 armored vehicles, and 1,246 armored personnel. In addition, 185 helicopters, including 67 combat helicopters of the EC665 Tiger type, and 128 light and medium- heavy drones.

Air Force

The Air Force has a workforce of 27,600 active personnel, and a reserve of 1,200 personnel. Materials include 129 fighters central Eurofighter Typhoon, 68 fighter of a Tornado IDS, 20 match and EK aircraft (Tornado ECR), four tanker category A310 met, 53 transport aircraft, 109 trainers, 88 helicopters and eight heavy drones.

The Navy

The Navy has a workforce of 15,900 active personnel, and a reserve of 3300 personnel. The fleet includes six tactical submarines, seven fighters, seven frigates, eight patrol vessels, 24 minesweepers, one landings vessel and 22 logistics and auxiliary vessels. In addition, eight Orion patrol and anti-submarine aircraft, two light transport aircraft, 22 Lynx anti-submarine helicopters and 21 Sea King rescue helicopters.

Operations abroad

In 2018, Germany participated in NATO operations in Afghanistan (Operation Resolute Support) with 130 personnel, in Estonia (Baltic Air Policing) with six fighter jets, in the Mediterranean (SNMG2) with a frigate and in Serbia (KFOR) with a personnel force of 440.

In addition, Germany participated in UN operations in Libya (UNISMIL) with two observers, Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 144 personnel and a frigate, in Mali (MINUSMA) with 430 personnel, in Sudan (UNAMID) with seven personnel, in South Sudan (UNMISS) with three personnel and 11 observers, and in Western Sahara (MINURSO) with three observers.

In addition, Germany had 300 personnel and four fighter jets in Jordan (Operation Inherent Resolve), and two transport aircraft in Niger (Barkhane).

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