Flags flying in front of NATO Headquarters in Brussels

Key dates in 2017

Meeting of Defence Ministers
29 June 2017
Meeting of Heads of States and/or Government


Saber Strike – more than a series of manoeuvres

Szczecin, Poland, 15 June 2017 The Saber Strike exercise programme is one of the largest international manoeuvres taking place this year. It involves a series of multinational exercises led by US Army...


EFP: the amphibians have arrived

Šeštokai, Lithuania, 16 June 2017 The morning’s torrential rain has given way to glorious sunshine by the time the soldiers of 901 Heavy Engineer Battalion from Minden arrive in Šeštokai. A little whi...

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Flaming Thunder 2017 – artillery exercise in Lithuania

Pabradė, Lithuania, 16 June 2017 A dull booming echoes across the training area at Pabradė in Lithuania. Shortly thereafter, huge clouds of soil fountain up into the air as the artillery projectiles ...

Helmut Kohl

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said today (June 16) on the passing of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl:

"He was a great statesman, a great German politician and above all a great European. He did not only do such a lot for German reunification, but also for the integration of Europe. That is his great l...

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BALTOPS 2017: German Navy on manoeuvres with 13 nations

Rostock, 2 June 2017 On 2 June, the Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) navy exercise began in the waters off Bornholm and the western Baltic Sea. The German navy is playing its part in the US-led manoeuvre. ...


First rotation of a Battlegroup company in Lithuania

Rukla, Lithuania, 7 June 2017 A hundred soldiers are waiting on the large parade ground in Rukla. Heavy rain is falling from the sky as the Lithuanian brigade commander gives the farewell speech. The...


Enhanced Forward Presence participating in the Armed Forces and Public Unitiy Day

Panevėžys, Lithuania, 6 June 2017 Saturday morning, 9.00 a.m. The centre of the Lithuanian city of Panevėžys gets busy. Flatbed trucks of the Lithuanian armed forces and enhanced Forward Presence Batt...


EFP: delaying operation under live fire

Pabrade, Lithuania, 31 May 2017 The turret of the battle tank moves with a soft whirring sound, seconds later a bang can be heard. “One enemy infantry vehicle destroyed. We continue observation,” the ...

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Norwegian vehicles arrive in Lithuania

Klaipeda, 30 May 2017 Members of enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania are awaiting a special cargo at the docks of Klaipeda. Their wait is rewarded shortly before dawn, when the cargo vesse...

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Tear down this Wall – and bring a piece to Brussels

And how does civil-protection helicopter Christoph 4 fit in? The fact that the Berlin Wall is now history is thanks in part to the Federal Republic of Germany’s consistently transatlantic approach to ...

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Multinational Battlegroup Lithuania trains for high-intensity combat

Pabradė, Lithuania, 23 May 2017 Training and exercises are all in a day’s work for the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania. This time, the German and Dutch combat companies are underta...


In my wee gas mask: TIM inspections in Kosovo

Prizren, 19 May 2017 Sniffing out potential threats in industrial plants in Kosovo is one of Major Ulrich Michael H.’s main jobs. The senior CBRN officer advises the commander of the 46th German Conti...

NATO: Meeting of heads of state and government in Brussels

The heads of state and government of the NATO countries met in Brussels on 25 May 2017 to take part in the official handover of the new NATO headquarters from Belgium to NATO. Federal Chancellor Ang...


NATO, the Wall and the THW

During the meeting of NATO heads of state and government held on 25 May 2017, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel unveiled two segments of the Berlin Wall, a gift from Germany to NATO for its new headqua...


Contributing with commitment

NATO meeting on 25 May: Germany provides ever more staff, equipment and funding for the Alliance When the NATO heads of state and government meet on 25 May, one of their key topics of conversation wi...


Award of German lanyards recognises international marksmanship

Rukla, 16 May 2017 What could be finer than embellishing your uniform with a proud distinction? The award at stake in the recent international shooting contest in Rukla was the German marksmanship lan...


Preparations for eFP: Infantry troops from Marienberg on manoeuvres in Estonia

Marienberg, 16 May 2017 The 3rd Company of 371 Armoured Infantry Battalion has deployed to Estonia to participate in the 2017 Spring Storm exercise. There, they are preparing for their future assignm...


Distance is no object: the crew of replenishment ship Bonn run the Bonn half-marathon at sea

At sea, 18 April 2017 Real athletes are known for their fighting spirit, their ability to keep going even when their whole bodies are screaming in exhausted protest. Servicemen and -women gain that sk...


German engineers join NATO Summer Shield exercise for the first time

Rukla, 11 May 2017 German soldiers have once more taken part in the annual multinational Summer Shield exercise. In addition to CBRN forces, soldiers from the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lit...


An eight-month continuous operation: change of contingent for Baltic Air Policing

Ämari, Estonia, 4 May 2017 The German air force has handed over responsibility for Baltic Air Policing to the relief contingent during a formal ceremony held at Ämari. As of May 4, the airspace at NAT...


Stetten artillery ready for Lithuania

Stetten am kalten Markt, Baden-Württemberg, 3 May 2017 The servicemen and -women of the 2nd Battery of 295 Artillery Battalion will shortly be taking part in NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in Lithua...


German Government decided to continue participation in NATO-led Kosovo Force - ceiling for troop numbers reduced

Berlin, 10 May 2017 | Federal Government The participation of German servicemen and -women in the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) is to continue, the Federal Cabinet has decided. As the situation in Kos...


Full throttle on the ground – my monkey wrench and me

The ground trembles. As an unbearable roaring rends the air, I fight a strong urge to drop my camera and use my hands as extra noise-cancellers. Full throttle: exerting an incredible amount of power, ...

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Merkel: Showing strength and readiness for dialogue

Chancellor Merkel explains NATO policy in view of the new security situation in Europe 6 May 2017The interview was conducted by Sebastian Feyock, a programme officer from the think tank of the German...


Everyone gets stuck in: an exercise brings the team together

Leeuwarden, Netherlands, 7 April 2017 Ten Eurofighter aircraft and around 200 servicemen and -women have spent two weeks in the Netherlands. The Frisian Flag exercise held in Leeuwarden concentrated o...


German Luftwaffe: Reinforcing NATO Baltic Air Policing 2016/2017 from Ämari Air Base, Estonia

From September 2016 until the end of April 2017, the German air force was engaged in protecting the airspace over the Baltic States, alongside the air forces of France and the Netherlands which had ta...

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The Franco-German Brigade: high-intensity combat training on the Letzling Heath

Gardelegen, 24 April 2017 23,000 hectares of training terrain, 1000 soldiers in action: for two weeks, the soldiers of the Franco-German Brigade have been practising high-intensity combat at Germany’s...

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German naval soldiers honoured with US Expert Field Medical Badge

Grafenwöhr, 20 April 2017 For two weeks, over 210 soldiers from eleven nations took part in one of the most difficult and prestigious examinations of the US army. Only a very few pass the exam. This t...


Girls'Day 2017 – Future Prospects for Girls

State Secretary Katrin Suder welcomes visiting schoolgirls to the Federal Ministry of Defence The Federal Ministry of Defence in Berlin will be among those marking the German Government’s Girls'Day...

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Enhanced Forward Presence: further reinforcements in place

Rukla, Lithuania, 11 April 2017 On the late evening of 30 March, 58 specialists of the CBRN defence corps from Bruchsal arrived at Kaunas airport. They were received by members of their advance party ...

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Persistent Presence 2017: air policing to go

Lielvārde Air Base, Latvia, 11 April 2017 The Bundeswehr’s 3 Tactical Air Command and Control Group is about to move over 800 tonnes of equipment and nearly 100 soldiers to Latvia. The unit is curr...

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Enhanced Forward Presence: map exercise

Rukla, Lithuania, 7 April 2017 The enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania has been practising delaying tactics as part of a week-long map exercise. All nations involved in the battlegroup too...

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Bundeswehr/Fjonas Erdmann

VJTF exercise: Artillery units demonstrate their skills in Baumholder

Baumholder, Rhineland-Palatinate, 3 April 2017 The Munster-based artillery will be providing Germany’s contribution to the multinational artillery battalion of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Forc...

The multinational logistic support company’s cargo-holding tent.

Indispensable – the logistic support company of enhanced Forward Presence

Rukla, Lithuania, 22 March 2017 They work behind the scenes, making sure that engines keep running and sufficient spare parts and supplies are available – the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lit...

Chief of Defence

Chief of Defence visits German soldiers in Lithuania

Rukla, Lithuania, 27 March 2017 The German Chief of Defence, General Volker Wieker, travelled to Lithuania on 23 March to gain a first-hand impression of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence. After his...

Lieutenant Colonel Huber, the battlegroup commander, welcoming the Prime Minister to the Rukla barracks.

An important visitor: Lithuanian Prime Minister visits battlegroup

Rukla, Lithuania, 4 April 2017 Lithuania’s Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis visited the Iron Wolf Brigade and the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania in Rukla on 28 March to gain an impre...

Commodore Axel Deertz

Interview with Commodore Deertz: “We provide a link”

For three months now, Commodore Axel Deertz has been in command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 vessels in the Mediterranean. In line with a decision taken by the Alliance, parts of this SNMG2 f...

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Estonia at night: the smallest light can show the way

Ämari, Estonia, 10 March 2017 It is pitch dark at Ämari airbase. An icy wind batters the runway. Thick clouds cover the sky. Loud bangs and rumbling reveal that the Eurofighters are up in the air – b...

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Reinforcing enhanced Forward Presence: CBRN defence forces headed for Lithuania

Bruchsal, 14 March 2017 As of 28 March, part of a company of 750 CBRN defence batallion from Bruchsal will support enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Lithuania. Different support elements such as CBRN...

An eFP BG LTU detachment marching in formation through Jonava.

EFP Battlegroup soldiers participate in independence day festivities

Rukla, Lithuania, 15 March 2017 On 11 March 1990, Lithuania declared its independence from the Soviet Union. The enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania soldiers participated in numerous event...

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Enhanced Forward Presence: a joint show of strength

Rukla, Lithuania, 15 March 2017 All is quiet in the Rukla training area. There is good visibility across the extensive terrain. The sandy plain is criss-crossed with ditches and punctuated by small pa...

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Enhanced Forward Presence: infantry soldiers training in Lithuania

Rukla, Lithuania, 14 March 2017 The bulk of the German core of the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania (eFP BG LTU) has been in Rukla since the beginning of March, together with its combat...

Lithuania: Bringing NATO soldiers good luck

Rukla, Lithuania, 9 March 2017  The first forces providing NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence have been in Lithuania since the end of January. There are now around 550 soldiers from three different cou...

Temporary headquarters: the nerve centre is operational

Rukla, Lithuania, 8 March 2017 Sunday evening in Rukla, Lithuania: While many people are enjoying the remainder of their weekend, the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup solders have been busy in t...

Leopard and Marder combat vehicles arrive in Lithuania

Šeštokai, Lithuania, 24 February 2017 A rail shipment of 20 Marder infantry combat vehicles and six Leopard 2 battle tanks reached its destination on 24 February. With more than 400 soldiers as well ...

Bundeswehr/Dennis Bogawitch

Side by side - Lithuania celebrates Independence Day alongside NATO soldiers

Rukla, Jonava district, Lithuania, 21 February 2017 It was on 16 February 1918 that Lithuania, previously occupied by Russia and, during the First World War, by the German Empire, declared its indepen...

Enhanced Forward Presence: Infantry combat vehicles and battle tanks shipped to Lithuania

Twenty Marder infantry combat vehicles, six Leopard battle tanks and three recovery tanks are on their way to Lithuania. A total of around 120 containers and 200 vehicles have been shipped since mid-J...

Speech given by Federal Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen to open the 53rd Munich Security Conference alongside US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on 17 February 2017

Translation of advance text For the US Defense Secretary and the German Defence Minister to be opening this conference together is a good sign for the friendship between our countries. We stand her...

Munich Security Conference 2017

The 53rd Munich Security Conference took place from 17 to 19 February, attended by at least 28 Heads of State and Government, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and 80 Ministers for Foreign Affai...

Meeting NATO Defense Ministers

NATO Defence Ministers focus on close cooperation

Brussels, 15 February 2017 Ursula von der Leyen travelled to Brussels on 15 February to participate in a two-day meeting of NATO Defence Ministers. On the margins of the meeting, the first to be atten...

Projecting Stability: Germany contributed more than 7.1 million EUR to NATO Trust Fund projects in 2016

From its 2016 budget, Germany has made voluntary contributions of an overall sum of 7,133,500 € to a variety of Trust Fund projects in the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) context, for Ukraine and for...

“What we are seeing here to today – this is NATO”

Rukla, Lithuania, 7 February 2017 Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen joined Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Lieutenant-General Jonas Vytautas Žukas, commander-in-chief of the Lithuania...

Getting things moving – vehicles on the way for enhanced Froward Presence

Grafenwöhr, Bavaria, 2 February 2017 At the Grafenwöhr training area, the vehicles stand in a long row by the loading ramp. Everything that happens in the next few hours will be coordinated by one ma...

Enhanced Forward Presence: Starting to take shape

Rukla, Lithuania, 1 February 2017 Planning, sawing, hammering, tightening screws and hauling loads – the advance party of the Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania is keeping busy. There...

Lieutenant-Colonel Christoph Huber, the German Commander of the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania, visited the NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) in Vilnius on 26 January. An NFIU serves as the transatlantic Alliance’s link to a host country.

Enhanced Forward Presence: Commander visits NATO Force Integration Unit

Vilnius, Lithuania, 31 January 2017 Lieutenant Christoph Huber, the German Commander of the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania, visited the NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) in Vilni...

Lithuania: "every support" for German soldiers

Rukla, Lithuania, 27 January 2017 Lieutenant Christoph Huber has reported to the Iron Wolf brigade of the Lithuanian armed forces shortly after the arrival of his 17‑strong advance party. The first B...

Arrival of first soldiers in Lithuania

Enhanced Forward Presence: First German Soldiers arrive in Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania, 25 January 2017 The first German soldiers have arrived in Lithuania to help set up a multinational NATO battalion. They landed in the capital city of Vilnius in the early evening ...

First unit to Lithuania

First Unit for Lithuania

Oberviechtach, 18 January 2017 The first members of the NATO Battlegroup arrive in Lithuania at the end of January. Around 460 German soldiers form part of the unit, most of them provided by 122 Mech...

Thursday: pre-deployment parade in Oberviechtach

Oberviechtach, Bavaria, 17 January 2017 Not long to go now:  the first members of the Oberviechtach combat unit will deploy to Lithuania as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence at the end of Janu...

The Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany on the North Atlantic Council

Ambassador Lucas

Ambassador Hans-Dieter Lucas has been representing the Federal Republic of Germany on the North Atlantic Council and heading the Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels since July 2015.