History

The domains air and sea were not always considered jointly

The domains air and sea were not always considered jointly

Date:
Place:
Hawaii
Reading time:
2 MIN

In the light of an increasingly dynamic geopolitical situation, the cooperation between the German Air Force and the German Navy is becoming more and more important in order to ensure the security of Germany and its allies. The most recent example of this cooperation was the Baltic Tiger exercise two years ago.

A ship of the German Navy lying in the port. A transport aircraft of the German Air Force hovers above it.

The need for a coordinated cooperation between the German Air Force and the German Navy became increasingly apparent during modern conflict scenarios. This led to increased efforts to ensure interoperability between the services.

Bundeswehr/Leon Rodewald

The cooperation between the German Air Force and the German Navy is the result of a strategic development. Historically, they had separate responsibilities in the early years.

Optimization through cooperation

During World War II, air and naval forces were often deployed separately; there was only limited coordination between them. Air forces were mainly in charge of air attacks, air reconnaissance and airborne support of ground forces, while the Navy was responsible for operations at sea, including submarine warfare, naval operations and maritime defense.

After World War II, and especially with the establishment of the Bundeswehr in 1955, cooperation between the military services intensified. The Bundeswehr was designed as a joint force consisting of the Army, Air Force and Navy. The idea was to create an effective and flexible defense capability that is able to react in an anticipatory and appropriate manner to the respective requirements of the times.

In the following decades, the Bundeswehr constantly reviewed and adapted its capabilities and strategies. The need for a coordinated cooperation between the German Air Force and the German Navy became increasingly apparent in modern conflict scenarios. Interoperability between the services was promoted, and joint exercises and operations were initiated.

It is now common knowledge that the Army and the Navy will not be able to successfully conduct operations without air sovereignty. Today's goal is to establish an effective and robust interoperable system consisting of command and control facilities, integrated systems, ground-based and airborne platforms and sensors.

Joint exercise in Estonia: Baltic Tiger 2022

The Baltic Tiger 2022 exercise in Estonia was the first event where specialized forces of the Air Force and the Navy jointly practiced the protection of critical infrastructure, including ports and airports. The deployment of the Bundeswehr to the Indo-Pacific region this year also includes Air Force and Navy elements. During the Rimpac exercise in Hawaii, the services will train together.

by Thomas Skiba