Vice Admiral Andreas Krause
During the past few years we have been confronted with numerous unforeseen crises around the world, which have arrived at our doorstep. Our navy has to be fully prepared to deal with all kinds of challenges, ranging from humanitarian aid to crisis response and full combat. Since 2012, the German Navy has quickly and consistently worked to accomplish the task of implementing its new structures in the course of the Bundeswehr’s (Armed Forces of Germany) reorientation. This is an achievement we are all proud of, and we are well on track.
Yet our navy is facing a series of challenges that must be tackled, including the stress on our sailors and their families due to long periods away from home, recruiting challenges—particularly in certain occupational specialties that are of critical importance for deployment of units—maintenance activities that are crucial to our units’ future viability, and other essential repair work.
Our new F125-class frigates will be a big step forward. These ships are designed for intensive use and will be able to remain continuously in an area of operations for two years. This will significantly increase operational effectiveness and also relieve crews of the burden of long transit back and forth to Germany. The rotational deployment of multiple crews for a couple of months will be an extra relief for our sailors and their families. Training is mostly done at home in on-base training environments, and simulators are used as much as possible. The F125-class frigates will be the new centerpiece of our fleet. Not only will their modern equipment enhance operational effectiveness, but also the attractiveness of service in our navy.
The German Navy strongly relies on its partners. In times of limited resources, close cooperation and burden sharing are useful and efficient measures to pool capabilities and knowledge. Against this backdrop, we strengthen our close ties to the navies of our neighboring countries, including the Netherlands, France, and Poland, but also to our other partners around the Baltic. From joint exercises to bi- or multinational procurement, we are involved in a number of collaborative projects.