What happens when a soldier is broken

Breakdowns in the Bundeswehr: We. Obtain. Everything. Broken.

German arms aid for Kurds in Iraq is making slow progress due to broken planes. Apparently, technical problems are widespread in the Bundeswehr.

Broken too: MK 88A Sea Lynx marine helicopters. Image: dpa

LEIPZIG / BERLIN dpa | The German arms deliveries for the fight against the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq have begun. After hours of delay due to a defect, the first machine with bazookas, rifles and ammunition flew from Leipzig early Thursday morning. This was confirmed by a spokesman for the Bundeswehr operations command. The weapons are to be handed over to the Kurdish Peshmerga army in the north of the country.

A total of 10,000 Kurdish fighters will be equipped with weapons for 70 million euros from the Bundeswehr in the coming weeks. The terrorist militia has conquered large parts of Syria and Iraq.

The start of the transport machine was originally planned for Wednesday noon. The intended aircraft for the Dutch Air Force broke down, however, and spare parts had to be flown in. A group of Bundeswehr trainers who are supposed to instruct the Kurds on the weapons were also stuck in Bulgaria on Wednesday evening - also because of a defective aircraft.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) did not comment on the delays. She acknowledged problems with air transport, but at the same time emphasized that all in all the Bundeswehr was "highly efficient".

However, deficiencies in vehicles, helicopters and airplanes seem to limit the Bundeswehr's operational capabilities far more than previously known. This reported picture-Newspaper, Passauer Neue Presse and Southgerman newspaper citing a list of the Bundeswehr. Inspector General Volker Wieker presented the overview to the defense politicians of the Bundestag. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense refused to comment because of the confidentiality of the document.

The details of the newspapers differ in detail. So stand loud Süddeutscher Zeitung In the army of 180 “Boxer” transport vehicles in the so-called book inventory, only 70 were available for training, exercises or missions, while 110 would be repaired.

"Even more desolate than assumed"

According to picture Only 42 of the 109 Eurofighters and 38 of the 89 Tornadoes of the Luftwaffe are currently available for use. The Tiger combat helicopter and the NH90 transport helicopter are also classified as “not ready for supply”. The Green MP Tobias Lindner told the newspaper that the situation was "even more desolate than assumed".

As the Passauer Neue Presse reported, only 24 of the 43 currently available Transall C-160 planes can take off. In the case of the CH-53 transport helicopter, there are only 16 out of 43. In the case of the Navy, not only a large proportion of the helicopters are defective: According to the report, three of the five P3-C Orion reconnaissance aircraft have to remain on the ground due to defects. One of the eight frigates was also not operational, and only six of the Navy's eleven anti-mine units could be used. It was only announced on Monday that the Navy can currently only use a maximum of 5 of its 43 helicopters.

The former inspector general of the Bundeswehr, Harald Kujat, asked for more money for the armed forces. In certain areas such as airplanes, helicopters or in the field of education, the effects of "chronic underfunding" can be felt, Kujat told the Stuttgarter news. According to a rule of thumb, states would have to spend 30 percent of their defense budget to keep an army modern. In 2013, according to NATO criteria, this was just 16 percent in Germany.

The Bundeswehr trainers in Bulgaria had previously been refused entry by the Iraqi authorities for days. And even their departure in Germany had not been under a good star: When they wanted to take off from the Hohn NATO airfield in Schleswig-Holstein on Friday, the planned Transall was also defective.

The Bundeswehr will also start its first Ebola aid flight to West Africa on Thursday. A cargo plane is to bring around ten tons of material from Cologne / Bonn Airport to the Senegalese capital Dakar. An airlift to Monrovia in Liberia is to be set up from there later.