The British armored division returns to Germany in the midst of Ukraine’s tensions

Author: | Posted in World News No comments

The British army will base hundreds of armored vehicles in Germany, just over a year after the country’s official withdrawal from the country, in a move aimed at strengthening NATO as tensions with Moscow over Ukraine remain high.

According to plans described as a “radical” restructuring of British land forces, the British government announced on Thursday that a NATO base in Sennelager, near the German city of Paderborn, would be one of three new “regional land hubs” for the British army, together with Oman and Kenya.

The move represents a complete reversal just over a year after Britain ended a permanent military presence on German soil that had been maintained since the end of World War II. The closure of the last British Army’s military headquarters in Bielefeld in February last year was the culmination of a decade-long withdrawal of 20,000 British officials from the country.

“We present a large number of our armored vehicles to be able to move faster if they are needed somewhere on the continent. [European] land mass, ”said Lieutenant General Ralph Wooddisse, commander of the field army.

A government official would not be drawn on exact figures but said plans planned to base “hundreds” of tanks and armored vehicles at Sennelager.

The decision comes with more and more NATO allies concerned that Moscow is planning an invasion of Ukraine. Kiev has said that Russia has gathered as many as 114,000 troops north, east and south of the Donbas, a mostly Russian-speaking region where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting government forces since a pro-Western revolution in Ukraine in 2014.

Earlier this year, US President Joe Biden stayed plans by his predecessor Donald Trump to withdraw thousands of American troops from Germany.

The plans to send British armaments back to Germany are part of a review by the military described as the most “radical” transformation in over 20 years.

“We can not afford to be a slave to sentiment,” said British Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace, announcing that the number of troops would be reduced by 9,000 troops to just 73,000 over the next four years – the smallest army has been in centuries.

The cuts will also lead to the closure of 33 army bases around the UK, including the Alanbrooke Barracks in North Yorkshire. During the 2019 election campaign, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson had promised that a Conservative government “would not cut back on our armed services in any way”.

Tobias Ellwood, Tory MP and former army officer who chairs the lower house’s defense committee, criticized the cuts. “Our world is becoming more dangerous, more complex. This is not the time to cut our defense budget or reduce our tanks, our armored vehicles and the number of troops we make,” he said.

But Wallace insisted that the restructuring was designed “to transform the army into a more agile, integrated, lethal expeditionary force.” The army would be “narrower but more productive,” he added confirmed plans for a new 1,200-strong “Ranger Regiment” modeled on the U.S. Army elite Green Berets.

The regiment will consist of four battalions, which will be built up with foreign forces and focus on fighting insurgency operations in regions such as East Africa. Wallace said this would mean more staff being deployed around the world for longer.

Wallace said there would also be a larger proportion of troops based in each of the delegated nations.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *