Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and his German counterpart Ursula Von Der Leyen have held the first-ever UK-German Defence Ministerial Council, affirming the two countries’ long-term commitment to working together.
RAF Brize Norton hosted the landmark discussions between the two NATO allies, which will now become an annual event, on co-operation on areas ranging from Baltic Air Policing to countering nefarious cyber activity.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
The world may be darker and more dangerous than at any time since the fall of the Berlin Wall thirty years ago.
But by strengthening our partnership with Germany we can uphold European security, defend the international rules-based order and look forward to brighter skies of peace and prosperity.
The UK-Germany relationship has been accelerating in recent years, with the two nations signing a Joint Vision Statement on increasing defence cooperation last October.
At RAF Brize Norton, that vision became a reality as the UK and Germany committed to cooperating on NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission when German Typhoons depart their Estonian airbase in April and British Typhoons fly in to take their place. Each force will share expertise with the other on how they conduct the deployment.
Alongside the similar Franco-British Council and the French-German Defence and Security Council, the UK-Germany Defence Ministerial Council ties up a powerful security triangle to defend European security.
It was also announced that RAF Coningsby will be twinned with the Laage airbase in Germany, following the twinning of transport bases RAF Brize Norton and Wunsdorf. Such partnerships boost understanding and learning best practices from each other through pilot exchange programmes.