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Homeland Security: According to the Bundeswehr General “much more” Soldiers needed

Homeland Security: According to the Bundeswehr General “much more” Soldiers needed

For the first time since the Cold War, the Bundeswehr is restructuring defense and homeland security in Germany. The operational plan for Germany is therefore “on the finishing line”.

According to Lieutenant General André Bodemann, it will be necessary in the future for military security tasks and the protection of one’s own infrastructure “much more” Give soldiers in homeland security. “Six homeland security regiments are not enough to protect the infrastructure critical to defense if I want to protect them exclusively with homeland security”said Bodemann, commander of the Bundeswehr’s Territorial Command, to the German Press Agency in Berlin.

The general and his command are about to complete a first version of the Germany operational plan (“OPLAN”), which will reposition defenses for the first time since the Cold War. A first version of the document, which is top secret and contains hundreds of pages, is expected to be ready by the end of March.

The Bundeswehr will set up six homeland security regiments by 2027, which will then include an estimated 6,000 men and women. In peacetime, they can be used for official and disaster relief – from serious accidents to terrorist situations to pandemics. In the event of tension and defense or even in the event of a crisis, homeland security forces also secure and protect ports and railway facilities, goods transshipment points, pipelines, roads for the deployment of troops, bridges, transport hubs and digital infrastructure.

Collaboration between various homeland security agencies

“It’s also about how much homeland security do I need and what capabilities to protect it. And not just with weapons and barbed wire”said Bodemann. “It’s about drone defense capability and blocking options.” Observation opportunities are important. He mentioned sensors, optronics and cameras “to using artificial intelligence to filter information to say something is happening here”.

The military planners also work out how cooperation with the police, civil protection and emergency services should work in the event of tension and defense. Economic sectors such as the logistics and energy sectors are also involved. One assumption is that significant parts of the Bundeswehr are needed on NATO’s eastern flank in an emergency and are therefore not available in Germany.

The Bundeswehr has noticed that many people are interested in homeland security, said Bodemann. “Unfortunately, we can’t get people into the system that quickly.” And interest varies regionally. In North Rhine-Westphalia – in the Münster Homeland Security Regiment – there are around 1,000 people on the application list.

Germany as “turntable” NATO

Bodemann said that the first copy of the operation plan was the command “just on the home stretch”. This plan is already there “applicable”, but will be continually updated. To do this, the Bundeswehr is also dependent on further information from the allies about what support there will be if troops are deployed. Because of its geographical location, Germany is considered “turntable” NATO.

“We have already come a long way in identifying critical and defense-important infrastructure. How we protect them is now the second step. We are also addressing this with the operation plan”said Bodemann. A big issue is transport infrastructure. “It’s no secret that we still have deficits in Germany”said Bodemann. “Which critical transport infrastructure needs to be upgraded? That is one of the challenges. We all know: upgrading bridges and building new bridges and tunnels costs a lot of money.”

Top secret plan of the Bundeswehr

The cooperation between the different forces is central. “The better connected we are, the earlier we can detect threats and the better we can protect ourselves against those threats”says Bodemann. This affects the military, but also the police and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and everyone “Sensors that we have in Germany”. This applies “already now, i.e. below a state of war, a case of tension or a case of defense, of Article 5 of NATO, because we are already seeing threats”.

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Bodemann will send the operation plan to Inspector General Carsten Breuer – together with assessments of the need for action. When asked, Bodemann said: “I don’t have the operation plan printed out with me, but I’m sending it to the ministry via secret channels at the end of the month.” In the autumn, the interaction between the military, emergency services and civil authorities in some regions will be put to a practical test: “We want to subject this operation plan to a so-called stress test.”

Source: Stern

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