Fact Sheet: U.S.-Germany Security Cooperation
The United States and Germany share a unique history of security cooperation that began in the aftermath of World War II, developed throughout the Cold War – especially after German accession to NATO in 1955 – and grew even stronger following the reunification of Germany. Today, the United States and Germany are allies in confronting challenges around the world, from combating terrorism and piracy to stemming nuclear proliferation. Germany is home to the largest permanent American force contingent outside the United States with 51,000 troops. This forward presence enables the United States to maintain a strong and robust transatlantic relationship with its European partners and allies and demonstrates America’s enduring commitment to European security and collective defense. The training provided at the 13 major U.S. installations in Germany prepares NATO and partner forces for vital multi-national operations overseas.
Stationing and Caring for U.S. Troops: Germany is the permanent host to eight U.S. military headquarters including U.S. European Command (USEUCOM), U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM), U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR), and U.S. Air Force Europe (USAFE). The Joint Multinational Training Center (JMTC) in Bavaria is the largest U.S. military training center outside of the continental United States. The JMTC provided training for over 92,000 personnel from the United States, Germany and 52 allied and partner nations in 2010. Germany is also home to the largest overseas Department of Defense medical facility in the world – Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) – located near Ramstein Air Force Base. LRMC has primary responsibility for providing medical care to U.S. service members wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq. In just the past seven years, LRMC has treated over 60,000 patients airlifted from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Afghanistan: Germany has been an integral part of the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) since its establishment in 2002. Germany is the third largest troop contributor with 5,000-plus troops and commands the entire ISAF northern region, which encompasses one-fourth of the country. Germany also leads two Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) and operates the main logistic base that supports all forces in the region, including 5,000 U.S. troops. Germany runs one of the largest police training programs in the country and actively trains and mentors the Afghan National Army. Germany deployed AWACs air crews to Afghanistan in April 2011to free up other allies to participate in NATO operations in Libya.
International Peace Operations: U.S. and German troops work together effectively in NATO and UN operations worldwide due in part to the joint training and capacity-building performed at U.S. military installations in Germany. With over 1,000 troops on the ground, Germany is the largest contributor to international peace-keeping operations in Kosovo. German and American maritime forces are also deployed to combat piracy off the Horn of Africa.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Security: Germany and the United States cooperate closely on the full range of international non-proliferation initiatives, including the Proliferation Security Initiative, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, G-8 Global Partnership, and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. President Obama hosted Chancellor Merkel at the Nuclear Security Summit in 2010 and the United States and Germany reaffirmed their commitment to work with other Summit participants to rid the world of unsecured nuclear material. Germany and the United States have also worked together to create a strong and effective sanctions regime against Iran to bring that country’s nuclear program in compliance with international requirements. Germany has also supported many of President Obama’s nuclear and missile defense goals, including maintaining a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear deterrent for the defense of all NATO allies as well as establishing the European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense.
Counterterrorism and Law Enforcement Cooperation: Germany and the United States have a robust cooperative relationship on counterterrorism, law enforcement and homeland security matters. Through the Security Cooperation Group, the Department of Homeland Security and the German Federal Interior Ministry enhanced bilateral cooperation on aviation security, cyber security, countering violent extremism and transnational crime. Germany and the United States also signed a first-of-its-kind Preventing and Combating Serious Crime (PCSC) Agreement in 2008 to allow information sharing of fingerprints on suspected criminals and terrorists. In addition, Germany plays an important leadership role in advancing counterterrorism cooperation between the United States and the European Union.