The 40th anniversary of the German Liaison Office for Defense Materiel, U.S.A./Canada

The 40th anniversary of the German Liaison Office for Defense Materiel, U.S.A./Canada

  • Multinationality
  • Equipment
Date:
Place:
Reston
Reading time:
3 MIN

This year, the German Liaison Office for Defense Materiel, U.S.A./Canada, (DtVStRü USA/CAN) celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Office building under a blue sky

The Federal Republic of Germany Office of Defense Administration, U.S.A. and Canada, office building at Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston It also houses the German Liaison Office for Defense Materiel, U.S.A./Canada

Bundeswehr/Rott

Cooperation with the USA and Canada in the fields of defence technology and armaments has always been of great importance.

Why was the German Liaison Office for Defense Materiel, U.S.A./Canada, established?

Within the scope of the Federal Republic of Germany’s rearmament, the newly established Bundeswehr in many areas initially had no choice but to rely on products from its US allies.
There were two reasons. The domestic production of defence material was either simply not possible due to the destruction of industrial plants or the victorious powers initially prohibited it.

When domestic development and procurement activities resumed, cooperation relations with the USA as well as liaison and project offices in the United States were quickly established. From 1965 to 1981, these relations facilitated closer and more local cooperation, for instance on the Battle Tank 70 or the F-4 Phantom.

The German Liaison Office for Defense Materiel, U.S.A./Canada, was ultimately established through the merger of German Army Main Liaison Staff 2 (Armaments) that had been established in 1972 and the liaison office of what used to be the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement for air defence materiel that had been established in 1975. Today, the agency is subordinate to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw).

What are the agency’s responsibilities?

The German Liaison Office for Defense Materiel, U.S.A./Canada, is the only agency abroad for the “Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support” organisational area and for forty years has been acting on behalf of the Bundeswehr in all fields of defence technology and armaments management in dealing with the US and Canadian Armed Forces and agencies as well as the local industry.

Today, 50 staff members including 39 civilian employees, six military personnel and five local-hire employees (i.e. salaried employees in accordance with local regulations) support German-American and German-Canadian relations in the field of equipment, information technology and in-service support in various ways. Some of these employees also perform tasks within the scope of projects and programmes with offices spread out across various locations on the North American continent.

Furthermore, there are various exchange programmes with the USA and Canada, the oldest and largest of them being the Engineer and Scientists Exchange Program (ESEP) with the US Armed Forces that was established in 1963. In the spring of 2000, another exchange programme for administrative and specialist personnel was established: the “Administrative and Professional Exchange Program”.
Both exchange programmes aim to achieve the most effective use of both countries’ scientific, technical, and official resources to satisfy their shared defence interests. Participants’ responsibilities at the host agencies aim to offer opportunities to deepen and apply their relevant expertise. In addition, participants are expected to familiarise themselves with their host country, its culture and lifestyle as well as the organisation and operating principles of its armaments sector.
The German Liaison Office for Defense Materiel, U.S.A./Canada, is responsible for the coordination of the various visiting units for participants in coordination with the competent US/Canadian and German agencies and locally provides advice and assistance for participants.

Decades of multifaceted cooperation have not only helped share valuable expertise and save costs, but also made key contributions to ensuring the overarching and seamless interaction of methods, procedures and systems with many other NATO partners.

by Frank Künkler

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The Agency

  • The picture shows the entrance area of the building

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