Germany is hosting the biggest air exercise in NATO history, called Air Defender 23. Taking place from June 12 to 23, the exercise involves 25 countries, including the US. 10,000 personnel and around 250 aircraft stationed across six military bases are engaging in crisis training scenarios in northern and southern Germany.
The exercise is a “strong display of Germany’s commitment, the strength of our transatlantic bond and NATO’s readiness to defend every inch of Allied territory and airspace”, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Twitter. During a visit to Jagel Air Base in Germany, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz observed the exercises and said that the cooperation within the NATO alliance sends a “great message” that is particularly important during these times.
Meanwhile, the German government released its new National Security Strategy last week. It spells out the consequences of the „Zeitenwende“, which has shown the urgency of rethinking our security. The strategy reaffirms an average 2% of GDP will be allocated for defense – as finance minister Lindner added, the aim is to achieve the 2% as early as next year. Moreover, it means sustained support for Ukraine and realism on China.
In other news, German Embassy diplomats and staff marched in this year’s Capital Pride Parade in Washington, D.C., an annual event that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators. Together with over 150 colleagues from the EU Delegation and EU member states, Embassy staff stood up for human rights and the LGBTQI+ community.
And finally, we’re getting ready to say goodbye to German Ambassador Emily Haber, who has served in Washington since June 2018. Our next edition of “Germany for Americans” will include a few of her messages and reflections on her past 5 years in the US capital.
The "Germany for Americans" team