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The Franco-German Brigade as reinforcements against the floods

(credit: Franco-German Brigade)

(BRUSSELS2) Several units of the Franco-German brigade (BFA) are currently lending a hand to the German civil security authorities in the face of floods. After the declaration of a “natural” disaster or even a “national disaster” according to the word used by German Federal President Gauck, German but also French units were deployed first in Bavaria then in Saxony, at the request of the Länder authorities ( *).

French and German units

A staff for the conduct of operations was set up, placed under the orders of Oberstleutnant Kuhlmann, commanding Jägerbataillon 292. On the German side, the “Task Force BFA” is made up of the 2nd company of Jägerbataillon 292, the 3rd company of Jägerbataillon 291, an element of Panzerpionierkompanie 550 and the 4th German company of the command and support battalion (BCS). Around sixty French soldiers were also mobilized, from a section of the 110th infantry regiment and the BCS transport platoon.

First deployed as a reserve intervention force on the banks of the Danube, weakened by water, on June 5, the “BFA task force” joined the banks of the Elbe, in eastern Saxony, near the Czech border, where “ the situation is increasingly worrying ". Meanwhile, the BCS transport platoon, which left Mülheim on the night of June 6, delivered nearly 850 beds to Bavaria in the Passau region, before joining the rest of the detachment.

A breach on the banks of the Elbe

The BFA detachment first settled between Pülswerda and Köllitsch, about a hundred kilometers north of Dresden. Localities are threatened by the flooding of the Elbe following heavy rainfall in recent weeks. The main mission of the soldiers of both nations is – as the BFA communications officer explains, “ reinforce the dike by making sandbags and erecting barriers to stop the water ". Oberstleutnant Kuhlmann's mobile staff moved into the castle of the small village of Pülswerda, barely a few dozen meters from the flooding waters, while the soldiers were accommodated in Köllitsch. Then the soldiers move further north, where the situation is downright critical. " A breach has opened up on one of the dykes of the Elbe ». The mobile staff moved to Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, while the 2nd company of the Hauptamnn Köhler, with its French elements, moved to the village of Prettin, 20 km from Torgau. Mission: to make sandbags, and above all to transport them with trucks to critical locations. The soldiers are supported by the population, who supply them with water and… pastries”. So, redouble your effort...

(*) The fight against natural disasters in Germany essentially depends on the Länder. A crisis summit will be organized next Thursday between the minister-presidents of the 16 Länder to define and distribute financial aid.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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