Declaration of Intent between the Federal Minister of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the further Enhancement of Bilateral Relations in the Field of Defence
The Federal Minister of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands hereinafter referred to as the “sides”, resolved to promote international stability and to secure peace in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty and the Treaty on the European Union having regard to:
· the Declaration of Intent between the Federal Minister of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on a New Approach towards Bilateral Defence Cooperation, June 19th 2002;
· the German-Netherlands Common Army Vision on Future Cooperation, April 6th 2005;
· the Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands concerning defence materiel cooperation, August 29th 2006;
· the Agreement between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on bilateral defence cooperation, November 8th 2006;
· the Memorandum of Understanding between the Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany concerning the Cooperation of the Armed Forces in the Field of Training, October 2nd 2008;
· the Letter of Intent between the Commander of the German Army and the Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army on Intensified Army Cooperation, July 12th 2012; welcome the very positive development in recent years of the traditionally excellent and friendly relations between Germany and the Netherlands. Both sides share the understanding that this Declaration of Intent will highlight and confirm their existing excellent relations and provide a sound basis for the even further enhancement of the German-Netherlands cooperation in the future.
The enhancement of German-Netherlands cooperation will comprise security, defence and armaments policy aspects, in order to represent common interests in an international environment in a coordinated, efficient and effective manner, including practical military cooperation between the Services. Furthermore, cooperation will be broadened in the areas of capabilities as well as operations, joint exercises and training. Bearing in mind that today’s security challenges can be tackled more effectively when working together, both sides explicitly welcome cooperation with additional partners.
Security, Defence and Armaments Policy
Both sides share common interests and values. These will remain the firm basis of their bilateral relations and be at the core of their enhanced cooperation in the future. Both sides intend to further strengthen the ability of NATO and the European Union to take action in matters of security, defence and armaments policy.
A vital condition for successful, viable and results-oriented German-Netherlands cooperation is a mutual understanding between partners and a shared view of the strategic challenges. Only on this foundation, will both sides succeed in defining common objectives, developing joint courses of action and identifying the required assets and capabilities.
Both sides will identify, discuss and strive for a common understanding of defence-related strategic and policy issues of common interest. They therefore intend to maintain close relations at defence ministers’ level and to continue their semi-annual bilateral security policy talks at Policy Directors’ level (High Level Steering Group).
Cooperation on Capabilities
Multinational approaches as well as Pooling & Sharing are key instruments in closing capability gaps and in ensuring the provision of adequate military capabilities. Both sides strongly support the EU and NATO initiatives currently being pursued. The two sides underline that closer cooperation will improve efficiency in the area of capability development, thus creating a long-term advantage for both countries. All possibilities for bilateral cooperation will be exploited, within all areas of concept & capability development, command and control, combat as well as combat support and combat service support. Further progress must be made towards harmonizing the common analysis of future national capability needs. Both sides will additionally strive for an optimum resource allocation and cost-efficiency in all defence-related areas. Both sides will meet frequently at ministerial level to coordinate plans and to investigate new initiatives for cooperation on capabilities.
An enhanced cooperation and capability development is to be supported by military research and technology, defence procurement and the logistic support for all systems of interest. To strengthen cooperation on capability development, the National Capability Directors will meet when required. To strengthen armaments cooperation, the National Armaments Directors will meet every six months, moreover, a steering committee will be established for current activities.
Operations, Joint Exercises and Training
Past combined efforts of the German and Netherlands armed forces include operations in Kosovo (KFOR), in Afghanistan (ISAF including two rotations of the 1 (German/Netherlands) Corps as ISAF HQ, PRT and the Police Training Mission in Kunduz), off the Horn of Africa (EUNAVFOR ATALANTA) and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (EUFOR). Of recent date is the cooperation in the PATRIOT deployment to Turkey (ACTIVE FENCE/ANATOLIAN PROTECTOR). In view of their many commonalities in their strategic and operational approach to multinational operations, both sides declare their willingness to intensify all possibilities for cooperation, particularly in future operations.
Combined joint training and exercises as well as the mutual exchange of innovative plans and products, knowledge and lessons learned will substantially improve mutual understanding between the Armies, Navies and Air Forces, as well as the Medical Services, contribute towards enhanced interoperability during joint UN, NATO or EU-led operations and ultimately increase the effectiveness of both sides’ armed forces. In this context, particular attention will be paid to common planning, preparations and pre-deployment training and exercises in case their forces are engaged in operations where multinational interaction and cooperation at operational and tactical level is required. Both nations intend to enhance the use of 1 (German/Netherlands) Corps as platform for combined training as well as the leading command and control element for multinational operations. Furthermore, the integration of 11 (Netherlands) Airmobile Brigade (11(NLD) LMB) into the German Division Schnelle Kräfte (DEU DSK) by January 2014 will enhance interoperability and common planning, preparations and pre-deployment training. The permanent posting of exchange officers at MoD level and at headquarters as well as the exchange of personnel in their national units and of instructors and students/cadets at military educational institutions are well-established procedures and extremely valuable in underlining the willingness to integrate. Both sides are prepared to examine further possibilities to exchange personnel.
Both sides express their desire to continue the established cooperation in operations, joint exercises and training. In order to coordinate, facilitate and further develop this cooperation, both sides agree that their Armies, Navies and Air Forces as well as Medical Services will continue to conduct their staff talks and explore opportunities for establishing more permanent forms of cooperation and deeper integration. These efforts should take into account the potential of integrated command and control structures on a permanent basis to ensure unity of command in operations and exercises. At Service level, units could be placed under common operational command and be deeply integrated on a permanent basis while remaining stationed at their peace-time locations.
Being firmly convinced that the further enhancement of their cooperation will contribute to improving their joint response to future challenges and threats and have a positive impact on European Security and Defence, the two sides declare their intent to:
· continue the mutually beneficial, professional and friendly partnership in the interest of both countries and,
· further enhance cooperation at ministerial level as well as between the armed forces regarding Security, Defence and Armaments Policy, Cooperation on Capabilities and Cooperation on Operations, Joint Exercises and Training, based on a reciprocal examination of opportunities and areas that are of mutual interest.
Following this firm commitment to further expand and deepen their cooperation in the defence field both sides agree on a roadmap of energetic steps to achieve tangible results. This roadmap, attached as an annex to this declaration, will be regarded as a living, non-limitative document, serving to evaluate the status and progress of the German-Netherlands cooperation in the field of defence at ministerial level.
Signed in duplicate
Dr. Thomas de Maizière Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert
Federal Minister of Defence Minister of Defence
of the Federal Republic of Germany of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Annex: Roadmap for the Further Enhancement of the Bilateral Relations in the Field of Defence
A. Intensify the German-Netherlands defence cooperation, considering the necessity to identify new options by frequent consultations in flexible, effective and efficient formats, enhance coordination and monitoring of the various cooperation projects and include aspects of operations as well as planning and concept development;
B. Develop a shared view on the strategic challenges in order to define our ambitions in the
field of Security, Defence and Armaments Policy;
C. Strive for harmonization of defence planning processes in general.
In addition to the enhancement of cooperation activities at ministerial level, as described in the declaration and the goals above, the following non-exhaustive overview identifies further areas of intensified cooperation – in particular at Service level:
Cooperation on Capabilities Projects:
All of the following topics are already integrated in Army, Navy or Air Force cooperation, but the involvement of MoD Plans and Policy Directorates as well as defence materiel organisations is needed to support decision-making. This paragraph also mentions fields of cooperation that cannot be attributed to one single inter-Service cooperation, as a result of the diverging task assignment within the DEU and NLD Armed Forces.
· Maintenance of ground-based systems. DEU and NLD use similar ground-based systems, such as the Boxer, Fennek and PzH 2000. It is worthwhile investigating possibilities for cooperation in the fields of maintenance and logistics for these systems. As for procurement, maintenance and phase-out of Army equipment, common interests and approaches should be investigated in an early stage of the process;
· DEU and NLD are both partners in the NH-90 programme and already work together within the established agencies. Possibilities of strengthening cooperation in the field of maintenance, education and training should be developed. If DEU decides to procure the NFH version of the NH-90, a trilateral cooperation with Belgium, for instance on common spare part pooling and management might be beneficial;
· DEU and NLD are both in the preparation phase for procurement of a MALE UAV. If both countries decide to acquire the same UAV system, this will create several opportunities for materiel cooperation, which can be exploited. In addition, other forms of cooperation in the field of UAVs, such as education, training and operational use, will be possible;
· DEU and NLD both have expertise in designing and building submarines. Shared knowledge and expertise can be used for the design and development of a new class of submarines for both countries;
· Replacement of Mine Countermeasures capability. Together with Belgium, knowledge acquisition and sharing, in the field of mine countermeasures in order to investigate common replacement of MCM capabilities;
· Development of a (sea-based) Missile Defence Capability on the basis of the SMART-L
· Combined procurement and stockpiling of supporting equipment and clothing.
· Development of 1 (German-Netherlands) Corps in Münster into a Joint Task Force Headquarters Land (JTF HQ L)/Joint Command and Control Capability (JC2C). Furthermore, both nations should evaluate the possibility of providing 1 (German/Netherlands) Corps as a JTF HQ (L)/JC2C to NATO’s Long-Term Rotation Plan (LTRP) in the future.
· The DEU-NLD Common Army Vision on Future Cooperation of April 6th 2005 is the basis for cooperation between the two Armies. DEU-NLD Army staff talks take place as Army Steering Group (ASG) meetings at least twice a year. The ASG identifies new opportunities for cooperation and coordinates and monitors the execution of cooperation initiatives. The recent new initiatives and studies (Project Griffin) to intensify the DEUNLD Army cooperation will be the main priority of the DEU-NLD ASG for the upcoming years. Promising supervised initiatives are investigated with highest priority. Currently existing fields of cooperation - mainly training and exercises - will be deepened where possible.
· Prioritized initiatives are:
Development of a bi-national DEU-NLD Fire Support unit (FOC within 3-5 years);
Common Joint Fire Support training;
Integration of 11(NLD) LMB (ground component) into DEU DSK (January 2014);
Training of NLD units with DEU tank units;
Intensification of DEU-NLD Training & Exercise including UN Training and Para Training & Exercises.
· The intent of the ASG is to bring forward implementation proposals to the Chiefs of Staff of the Armies no later than June 2013. Agreed proposals for short-term implementation (2013-2014) will be forwarded to the High-Level Steering Group for approval at ministerial level.
· Fields for medium and long-term (Army) feasibility studies are: common logistic support, logistic role specialization, CIS interoperability, officer and NCO training, common Army vision on land warfare, common doctrine on land warfare, NLD participation in DEU division staffs, attachment of units to 1 (German/Netherlands) Corps, development of common organizational structures (support), cooperation in Electronic Warfare, engineering and C-IED.
Air Force cooperation:
· Further integration within the EATC.
· Continue the intensification of bilateral cooperation on Ground Based Air and Missile Defence (GBA&MD) between DEU Air Force and NLD Army, as defined in the Terms of Reference of the bi-national project group.
· Intensify the existing GBA&MD cooperation by
Strengthening the cooperation in the areas of operations, logistics and training;
Embedding individual NLD GBA&MD experts into DEU GBA&MD Wing 1 “Schleswig-Holstein” in 2014;
Common further development of GBA&MD tactical firing exercises;
Aiming at developing a common mission-oriented (not standing) binational GBA&MD unit.
· Cooperation on helicopter capabilities (cross-Service DEU and NLD Armies and Air Forces):
DEU Participation in the NLD Helicopter Weapons Instructor Course (HWIC);
Cooperation in the field of Helicopter Underslung Loads Equipment (HUSLE) and Underslung Load Clearance (ULC);
Contribution to the integration of 11(NLD) LMB (ground component) into DEU DSK (January 2014);
Mutual participation in certification exercises, when both countries contribute to the same operational readiness unit (IRF/NRF or EUBG).
· Cooperation in the field of Space Situational Awareness;
· Development of combined Survive, Evade, Resist & Extract (SERE) training and education, together with Belgium.
Widening and intensifying the existing cooperation between the DEU and NLD Navies on a
broad basis, such as:
· Education & Training: PWO Course, Air Defence Course, Very Shallow Water Operations (via CoE CSW at Kiel and MBS Eguermin at Oostende);
· Shipbuilding & Design: sharing of knowledge and expertise with regard to feasibility, operational concepts, design and procurement studies on new weapon systems;
· Exchange of personnel on board operational units;
· Sharing of Lessons Identified/Learned from operations.
In order to expand and deepen the cooperation between both navies, bilateral working groups will be established concerning:
· Sharing of knowledge and capabilities in replenishment, seabasing and amphibious operations;
· Establishment of a multinational Submarine Command during Operations, Training, Education and Logistics;
· Sharing of training facilities and capabilities (i.e. Helicopter Controller Training, Submarine Training Centre);
· Co-ordination of annual Operational Programming of assets;
· Shared development of naval doctrine;
· Exchange of information and mutual support regarding the development of a maritime Ballistic Missile Defence capability;
· Exchange of knowledge and experience on the use of UAVs on board naval units;
· Medical Service: cooperation of Medical Teams during operations (i.e. ATALANTA).
Cooperation between Medical Services:
· Development of a modular Role 2/3 facility, based on the Smart Defence project 1.15 and further development of a Trauma Registry System from point of wounding until final treatment, based on the NATO Trauma Registry software, available since November 2012.
· Continuation of the training of bi-national medevac crews in the EATC cooperation;
· Pre-deployment training for bi-national medical teams or units to be deployed;
· NLD contribution to further development of DEU education and training approach (including observer/trainer system);
· Explore opportunities for the mutual use of training facilities;
· Exchange of information: continue exchange of information and experience in the field of Mil Mental Healthcare, Rehabilitation, quality control systems and MEDINT;
· Investigate sustainable provision of primary healthcare for military personnel of 1 (German/Netherlands) Corps in Münster;
Cooperation DEU Streitkräftebasis and NLD Command Service Centre:
· Intensification of cooperation between NLD Defence Academy (NLDA) and Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr (FüAkBw) as well as exchange of lecturers at the DEU and NLD General Staff Courses.
· Reciprocal examination of opportunities in the fields of ISTAR, CBRN and C-RAM is of mutual interest for both armed forces.
· Intensification of cooperation with regard to training in CBRN Defence. Investigation of options for mutual CBRN Defence capability development and CBRN Defence units.
· Further exploration of options to enhance the NATO CIMIC capability development through close cooperation of the CCOE framework nations DEU and NLD. Investigation of the possibility for setting up DEU-NLD CIMIC formations at tactical level and to conduct common training.
(ministerie van Defensie, 28 mei 2013)