Farage outraged by Britain's re-designation parade with Germany
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While making the formal establishment of the German-British Amphibious Engineer Battalion 130, 600 soldiers marched over two M3 Rig bridges and formed up to be officially re-designated. The UK and Germany are the only nations within NATO to have the bridging capability. The former Brexit Party MEP Nigel Farage warned the UK against putting its “faith in an EU rival” military cooperation.
Speaking on GB News, Mr Farage said: “I have been railing against an EU army, railing against EU military for about 20 years and I thought with Brexit maybe the argument was over.
“Yet I was astonished to see pictures last week of a group of royal engineers from Britain in Germany working with German engineers and this is a re-designation parade.
“It seems almost incredible that there is to be a new amphibious group made up of British and German troops.
“I simply can’t believe it.
“I know Afghanistan has been difficult but I thought we’ve put our faith in NATO, not in a rival EU military cooperation that wants to head towards being a European army.
“I am going to write to Ben Wallace the Defence Secretary to ask him what the hell is happening?
“If this was a cooperation with the German army that would be fine but when the Ministry of Defence tells us it’s a re-designation parade, I’ve got a real problem.”
The Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith stated: “This joint Battalion and its combined capabilities are unique. It is the only unit in the British Army with such capabilities.
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“I congratulate and thank you for your hard work for joint ambition. You can be proud of your achievements to date.
“In my opinion, you set the benchmark for integration and interoperability.”
The new Battalion is primarily amphibious-focussed although it has other engineering capabilities.
Both nations operate the M3 rig which is used individually as a ferry or joined together to create a bridge for military vehicles to cross, including Main Battle Tanks and other heavy equipment.
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Crossing a body of water remains a particularly challenging and complex undertaking that must be practised regularly.
British and German amphibious engineers impressively succeeded in this in 2016 as part of Exercise ANAKONDA.
German Lieutenant-General Alfons Mais added: “We are literally building bridges where they are needed.
“At the tactical level during high-intensity combat operations, but also at the political level by symbolising our deepening cooperation. I am therefore extremely pleased today that we have made such rapid progress with the formation of this joint bi-national amphibious engineer battalion.”
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