UK and Germany step up Defence cooperation on day of unity
UK and German Armed Forces will work more closely on exercises and operations as part of the firm partnership between the two countries.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, speaking alongside his counterpart Ursula Von Der Leyen at the Germany Embassy in London, has said the UK and Germany were committed to tackling threats around the world.
Mr Fallon also announced that the Royal Navy’s newest helicopter will fly from a German warship. The Wildcat is due to fly from a frigate on Mediterranean operations next year.
At the event marking 26 years since the reunification of Germany, Mr Fallon said the two countries were turning up the volume on their partnership. Last year the Strategic Defence and Security Review lifted Germany to top tier status, something formerly only afforded to the US and France.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
Britain stands together with Germany to face the same challenges, including the threat from Daesh, and shares the same values of liberty, tolerance and justice.
While the UK is leaving the European Union, our commitment to European security remains steadfast, and we continue as a leading member of NATO – the cornerstone of our Defence.
During the reception Mr Fallon and Dr Von der Leyen discussed EU Common Security and Defence Policy. The Defence Secretary spoke of the UK wish to enhance rather than duplicate NATO structures.
The UK and Germany both play significant roles in the 67-nation coalition against Daesh, providing air support, equipment and training to local forces. RAF Tornado and Typhoon aircraft fly strike missions day and night while Germany has Tornados operating reconnaissance missions. This support and more has helped the Iraqis to take back 50% of the territory Daesh once held in Iraq, leaving them with just 10% of the territory they held in Iraq two years ago.
Through NATO both nations are committed to reassurance for Eastern European allies. Next year Germany will deploy around 500 troops to Lithuania and the UK will deploy 500 troops to Estonia, as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence.
The UK and Germany also work shoulder-to-shoulder on other joint exercises under NATO, underlining the commitment to security and stability.
In addition to exercises, both countries each have more than 3,000 military personnel deployed on operations around the world, underlining Britain and Germany’s global military contribution.