German army ‘used civilian vans for training exercises’ due to equipment shortage

The German military is facing equipment shortages so severe that the army has been forced to use ordinary Mercedes vans to stand in for armoured personnel carriers during training, and special forces had to cancel a Nato joint exercise because there was no helicopter available for them, a parliamentary report has revealed.

In his annual report, the Bundestag’s Military Commissioner issued a stark warning that unless funding is increased, Germany’s armed forces will be unable to fulfil their mission.
“2014 was a year of truth for the Bundeswehr,” Hellmut Königshaus wrote.

“The deficiencies in building and equipment maintenance reached an extent that is no longer acceptable.”

The report describes how the army has been forced to use ordinary civilian cars as stand-ins for military vehicles during pre-deployment training, because of shortages of genuine equipment.