The German military on Wednesday put a short-range air defense unit under Dutch command, further expanding unique military cooperation between the two NATO allies. The 450 German soldiers will remain at an air defense base in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, but come under Dutch command. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen praised the bi-lateral military cooperation.
“We share common values and interests, believe in our European future, and are strong partners in the trans-Atlantic alliance,” von der Leyen said. “We want to tap into synergies to improve our existing capabilities and build up new ones.”
Meshing together the two militaries began in 1995. In 2014, the Dutch put 2,000 paratroopers under the command of a German division. In 2016, the two countries brought together their armored groups. Wednesday’s step is the first time cooperation extended to the German air force.