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German Defence Ministry plans big boost in army reserves

In World
June 09, 2024

The German Defence Ministry is planning for a significantly strengthened Bundeswehr or army reserve, to include up to 60,000 men and women, a top official for the army’s reservist affairs told dpa in Berlin.

“I am convinced that we must fully adapt the reserve to the current security policy challenges so that it can properly support the Bundeswehr in performing the task of national and alliance (NATO) defence,” Lieutenant General Andreas Hoppe, deputy inspector general and commissioner for reservist affairs, said.

His comments come days before Defence Minister Boris Pistorius intends to present his proposal for a model of compulsory military service on Wednesday. The draft was suspended in 2011 and re-instituting it is controversial in Germany.

“We need military service as the basis for a rapid increase and the resilience of our Bundeswehr in the event of defence,” said Pistorius on Friday at an event organized by the industry association of family businesses in Berlin. The reserve must also be significantly increased, he said.

Ukraine war has made Germany rethink its defence needs

“If you look at Ukraine, we are simply not capable of holding out and growing as we are at the moment. That’s why we need a reserve that is capable of completely replacing forces,” said Hoppe.

The goal is to equip and train reserve companies or reserve battalions in such a way that they can be seamlessly integrated into the operational command of a brigade.

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