Germany and the Netherlands to Digitally Integrate Their Armed Forces
(Source: Netherlands Ministry of Defence; issued June 26, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
In Brussels, Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld (R) and her German colleague, Ursula von der Leyen, sign an agreement for a far-reaching digital cooperation between their armed forces. (NL MoD photo)
To improve cooperation in the field, Germany and the Netherlands are going to digitally integrate their armed forces. Never before have the armed forces of two different countries decide to bundle their digital forces as far as they do now. Both Defense Ministers today sealed an agreement for the new German-Dutch TEN (Tactical Edge Networking) organization in Brussels, where NATO defense ministers are meeting.

The agreement lays the foundation for merging two national digital evolution and modernization programs. TEN also offers opportunities for developing joint standards and solutions within NATO. Systems and equipment may also be purchased jointly.

The starting point is that the soldiers in the field can do their work more efficiently and safely. They must also be able to collaborate more effectively with other NATO colleagues during missions and exercises.

Minister Bijleveld said “In a world of digital threats, we are constantly looking for new ways to make our men and women stronger in the field. They perform difficult missions. To succeed, they not only need smart tools and the latest systems; They must also be able to act with it in an international context. TEN is a big step towards better communication in the field."

These developments are not only limited to Germany and the Netherlands. Good communication is also important for the troops in a NATO context. Communications between the radios of different countries is often difficult. Germany and the Netherlands therefore want to introduce the same standards with as many NATO partners as possible.

Military internet

To promote safety, a military internet is being built within TEN. This improves connections with a mix of resources such as fast applications, permanent mobile accessibility and protection against cyber and electromagnetic threats.
Good information is essential

TEN is of great importance for improving information-driven action. To cope with technologically advanced opponents and hybrid threats, having the right information is essential. This information must also be able to reach the units in the field and be securely shared there.

Koblenz and Amersfoort

The organization will eventually have a head office in Koblenz. There will be a design and prototype center at the Bernhard Barracks in Amersfoort. From here, practical initiatives with partners will be worked out.

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