NATO command center to be built in Germany
As part of NATO's European build-up, the military alliance will create a new command center in southern Germany and another in the US state of Virginia, the DPA news agency said in an exclusive report on Friday.
The move comes as a response to Russia's military assertiveness in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. The crisis which started in 2014 already saw Germany and the US deploy troops to NATO's eastern flank, including Poland and the Baltic states.
Citing a confidential NATO report, DPA said the alliance still had doubts over its capability to respond quickly and adequately to a potential Russian assault.
Troops are concerned about the state of traffic infrastructure that could be used to move troops in Eastern Europe, but also about bureaucratic hurdles that could slow down its response.
The new German compound would serve to alleviate such problems. The base would be build in the city of Ulm, which already hosts a multinational military headquarters for conducting crisis deployments across the world.
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Construction to start in July
NATO officials are set to announce the decision at a ministerial summit next week in Brussels, according to the agency. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is planning to attend the meeting.
NATO leaders hope the new command post would start construction in July and open as early as October next year. However, it would only become fully operational in 2021.
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The alliance officials have yet to decide about the exact number of soldiers for the new post, DPA said.
NATO will also build a new command post in Norfolk, Virginia, to protect naval ways and sensitive infrastructure between North America and Europe. The infrastructure also includes transatlantic internet cables that carry data between the continents.
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