For the First time since entering the job, Commander of the German Air Force, General Karl Müllner has landed in Israel. Aside from meeting with officials, General Müllner will be examining the defense industries and purchasing processes of Israeli products. “We will continue to develop and expand our relationship”
Tal Michael | Photography: Yonatan Zalk
Dressed in his blue uniform, General Müllner stepped down the official parade held in his honor to the sounds of the German anthem, a colorful range of tunes–as would be expected of an anthem which was composed two centuries ago by one of the great classical composors, Joseph Haydn. Just as the anthem exudes force, so does the German Air Force. General Müllner leads one of the world’s greatest, most powerful air forces, inarguably one of the few who have changed the face of modern aviation. “The relationship between Israel and Germany is historical and so is the relationship between the German and Israeli air forces”, said General Müllner in an interview for the IAF Magazine. “I arrived here in order to strengthen our cooperation, expand it and look for new subjects we could discuss that we haven’t dealt with yet”.
The bond between both forces is very close. At first, the two cooperated in subjects regarding instruction and training areas, later on expanding to the sale and purchasing of defense products. “At the end of last year, we had sent a formation commander and another official to exercise with CH-53 pilots of the IAF. You stand before challenges and dilemmas from which we can learn”.
In the past several years, the Germans have developed a close-knit relationship with the various countries around the world. Since 2006, the German Air Force has participated in the international activity in Afghanistan. “Transport helicopters and planes of the German Air Force are spread out at a number of bases in the country and assist ground forces in addition to conducting special activity”. As members of NATO, the Germans have been active in a number of additional fronts in the last decade. “We’ve assisted forces in Libya, and nowadays we are helping an African union that is active in Mali, both in addition to supervising Balkan states together with the rest of NATO members. We’ve even recently sent Patriot batteries to the Turkish southern border intended to defend against attacks from Syria”.
Despite financial cuts in the German Military, the German Air Force continues to advance and develop. Only last month, the 100th “Eurofighter” plane in the force’s service was added to its ranks, and now the Germans are planning on expanding their collection of UAVs. “We’re on the cusp of deciding the future of UAVs in Germany. We will not neglect the importance of manned aerial vehicles, but the advantages of UAVs are clear. Lately, we’ve been examining the Global-Hawk, the largest UAV in the world that will be manufactured for the German Air Force as a Euro-Hawk and subsequently be added to its ranks”. If that were not enough, the German Air Force has had to deal with another department passed on to it last January: helicopters. “Meanwhile, most of the smaller helicopters are in the hands of the German Army, and we only operate the heavier transport helicopters; no doubt that we could learn about this subject from you as well”.