KOLN, Germany – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Luftwaffen Kaserne in Koln-Wahn Oct. 23, to observe a Bundeswehr and U.S. Army demonstration to showcase how NATO capabilities would set the theater to ensure territorial security and deter potential adversaries.
The Bundeswehr’s Homeland Defence Command hosted the demonstration, which included multiple German military and civilian agencies, as well as U.S. Soldiers from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command.
This visit highlighted the major efforts that the host nation performs as well as sustainment efforts in support of Allied Forces flowing through Germany toward NATO countries in the east for a myriad of operations.
Scholz passed through different checkpoints to witness a multinational show of force of security checks, force protection, decontamination, sustainment operations and cyber defense capabilities.
“It is about gaining an overview and understanding that everything has to be interconnected to ensure security in our country,” said Scholz. “It is good that it’s not just about ensuring military security, but conversely, also about being prepared in the event of natural disaster.”
Bundeswehr Lt. Col. Daniel Razat, commander of the 750th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Defence Battalion, said the static and dynamic CBRN displays helped show the Bundeswehr’s and the U.S. Army’s ability to quickly decontaminate people and equipment exposed to chemical agents.
“For the chancellor, it is important to know all our capabilities in order to handle an accident or a chemical attack,” said Razat. “We use all these rehearsals, trainings and exercises to help my Soldiers talk to the United States Soldiers in order to have a better relationship when it comes to a mission.”
All moving pieces were coordinated and executed for Scholz to observe. Each participant understood their role; and gained valuable insight and shared understanding working with their NATO ally as a united force.
U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Kevin McMahon, officer in charge of the reception, staging, and onward movement, 16th Sustainment Brigade, said it was a great experience to work with an ally.
“I think this is important because it shows our ability to work with our partner nations and integrate in their plans for how they will take part in the war effort supporting logistic operations,” said McMahon. “It shows the role we would have operating out of the German logistics center.”
Towards the end of the demonstration, the German-U.S. alliance was evident through the interactions between each participant. Soldiers from each military shared laughs and exchanged patches after four days of rehearsals.
Scholz emphasized the importance of the cooperative structures between the Bundeswehr, partner militaries, and other civilian forces.
During his closing remarks, Scholz said that the women and men participating in the demonstration were “taking part with their heart,” which he said was the most important aspect of the event.
“Thank you for participating,” said Scholz. “Thank you for all that you do for our common security.”