your location Brown visited the 73rd Tactical Air Squadron “Steinhof” at Lage Air Base in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which is involved in protecting NATO’s eastern flank – one of the four Luftwaffe Eurofighter sites. Eurofighter training is also done there. Brown – himself a fighter pilot – flew in a two-seater Eurofighter. Air Force Inspector General Ingo Gerharts accompanied him on a second plane.
“In a crisis like this, I see the Air Force as a kind of first responder,” Gerharts said. “We’ve also shown that we are.” The team noted German protection flights in the east and southeast of NATO territory and the stationing of the Patriot anti-aircraft system in Slovakia. This is part of Germany’s participation in NATO. The term “first responder” describes a person who gives the “first answer” in a crisis – that is, to be the first to be there.
US President Joe Biden announced an increase in the troop presence at the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June – with a focus on NATO’s eastern flank. The White House announced that additional air defense forces would be stationed in Germany and Italy. Accordingly, about 625 additional soldiers will be sent to the Federal Republic of Germany. The “first permanent US forces on the eastern side of NATO” are to be stationed in Poland
– So now they are there on a rotational basis.
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Biden had said, “With our allies, we will ensure that NATO is able to confront threats from all directions and in all regions – on land, in the air and at sea.” Brown said now that talks are underway with European allies about the exact structure of the increased troop presence. NATO quickly assembled and used its skills. “All the exercises were ready for moments like this. The main point is the defense of NATO and NATO territories.”
Brown is responsible for the training, education, and equipment of 689,000 US Air Force soldiers, civilian personnel, and reservists. At Laage, he was also shown how to implement simulator training. The Eurofighter’s capabilities in flight operations were shown to him himself.
In the US, the German role is now viewed more favorably after a long dispute over defense spending, which has been criticized as being too low. Recently, it has also been emphasized several times that Germany, as a country with the vision and skills of a leading country, plays a major role.
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