A soldier stands in front of a Patriot surface-to-air missile system during a military exercise at Warsaw Babice Airport, Poland on Feb 7, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
BERLIN – The German military will end its Patriot anti defense units in fellow NATO members Slovakia and Poland this year, a spokesperson for the defense ministry was quoted as saying, as Berlin tries to make the best use of its limited military resources.
"The nations have been informed about the plans," a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense was quoted as saying by Funke media group.
The deployment in Poland should end in June while the one in Slovakia will expire by the end of year, the spokesperson added.
Berlin offered to deploy three of its Patriot units to Poland to help secure its air space last year after two men were killed by a stray Ukrainian missile that struck the Polish village of Przewodow last November
Berlin offered to deploy three of its Patriot units to Poland to help secure its air space last year after two men were killed by a stray Ukrainian missile that struck the Polish village of Przewodow last November.
Germany dispatched the first two of the three units to Poland in January while the Patriot air defense system started arriving in Slovakia from NATO partner countries last March, shortly after the start of the conflict in Ukraine, to help reinforce the defense of NATO's eastern flank.
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The German government has also delivered a Patriot system from army stocks will also be delivered to Ukraine this year.
Germany had 36 Patriot units when it was NATO's frontline state during the Cold War. Today, the German forces are down to 11 Patriot units.
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"If the situation allows it, it makes sense to change the situation. We need the flexibility because we don't have an infinite amount of equipment," Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, the head of the German parliament's defense committee was quoted as saying by Funke.