German Troops Reportedly Left to Pay for Equipment From Own Pocket

German Bundeswehr soldiers of the NATO enhanced forward presence battalion InternationalIndiaAfricaBERLIN (Sputnik) – The German army reportedly never received the supply of properly functioning resources it has been promised by defense ministers for the past 10 years, leaving many soldiers with no other choice but to pay for equipment on their own.Boris Pistorius is not the first German Defense Minister to pledge an improvement to the army’s supply and procurement; his predecessors Christine Lambrecht, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Ursula von der Leyen all promised to reform military procurement but never did. German media reported Wednesday that investigators with the NTV broadcaster said it visited a number of German military bases in the country and witnessed the broken supply chain first-hand. It said some service members had to replace state-provided equipment with their own devices, citing the case of an officer who had to buy his own walkie-talkie for an exercise as the one provided to him by the state was still in repairs. The German navy is also affected by poor procurement. The crew of the Hamburg frigate decided that buying their own 3D printer to produce replacement parts was an easier solution than to wait for state support, the report said, adding that it takes months for even the simplest equipment and spare parts to arrive. The Sachsen’s crew reportedly bought their own flashlights. IT-technologies are another weak point of the Bundeswehr, according to the report, as the broadcaster found that many German warships do not have an adequate internet connection and their crew members have to purchase and install the relevant equipment themselves. Germany, like many other countries, has started to rethink its defense policy after the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. In early March, the German defense minister said the Bundeswehr would be incapable of protecting the country in the event of an immediate war due to poor resources and personnel shortages. In June 2022, the German parliament by a majority of votes endorsed Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s initiative to allocate 100 billion euros ($110 billion) to strengthen the country’s defense capabilities.

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