The sovereign can no longer say, "You shall think as I do on pain of death;" but he says, "You are free to think differently from me, and to retain your life, your property, and all that you possess; but if such be your determination, you are henceforth an alien among your people."

(Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835)

Friday, 30 April 2010

German troops back in France!

At the Munich Security Conference in February 2009, French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel agreed to permanently station a German Battalion of Light Infantry in Illkirch-Graffenstaden, France, 5km south of Strasbourg. The first German troops arrived beginning of April and by Summer 2010 the Battalion will reach its full strength.

The Light Infantry Battalion 291 (Jaeger Battalion in German) will complement the German component of the German-French Brigade, which so far consists of the Jaeger Battalion 292 in Donaueschingen, the Artillery Battalion 295 and the Tank Engineer Battalion 550. The French component is represented by the 110the Infantry Battalion and the 3rd Hussar Regiment, both stationed in Germany. Last, the German-French Supply Battalion, which is as opposed to the above mentioned units the only truly bi-national unit.

As the only unit of the German Army, the Jaeger Battalion 291 will consist of two Jaeger Companies and one Reconnaissance Company. Supplied with the most advanced weapon systems, such as the Armoured Personnel Carrier BOXER, Light Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle FENNEK, machine gun MG 4, sniper rifle G 82 and sub-machine gun MP 7, the Battalion is specifically designed for out-of-area missions.

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