UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced upcoming changes to the country's military, including on a planned redeployment of some of its tanks to Germany to bring the British motorised presence there to a full armoured brigade for the first time in a decade.
The additional tanks will be based in the NATO Forward Holding Facility at the Sennelager Training Area in Germany. At the same time, the UK Defence Ministry does not plan to increase the number of troops deployed there.
The change is expected to allow the rapid reinforcement
of NATO's eastern flank. The UK thus effectively will roll back its 2010 decision to redeploy a portion of its armoured brigade from Germany, which was partially justified by the absence of an imminent threat from Russia.
An anonymous source told The Telegraph that the move announced by Ben Wallace was prompted by Whitehall's concerns about Russia's alleged military activity on the Ukrainian border. The source claimed that London saw them as "aggressive" and "worrying".
Moscow has repeatedly dismissed unsubstantiated media reports of a military build-up on the border with Ukraine and said it was of no one's concern how the country moves its military within its borders. The response came amid several NATO members expressing fears that Russia might be planning to attack Ukrainian territory
amid the purported military build-up.
The Kremlin, in turn, pointed out that western countries had sounded similar alarms in April 2021, when the Russian armed forces had been redeployed to the country's western fringes. Back then it turned out the move was linked to a routine military exercise.
In his address to the House of Commons, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also addressed another issue, stressing that an upgrade of the British armed forces was long overdue. The minister blamed years of underinvestment for the situation the UK'a armed forces are currently in.
Wallace announced that some 8 billion pounds will be spent in the next decade to buy new helicopters and armoured vehicles for the military. In addition, some 40 billion pounds will be used to acquire an "upgrade kit" for the UK Army.
The move comes on the heels of London's decision to slash its armed forces from 82,500 to 73,000 individuals. Still, Wallace defended this previous decision by Whitehall as being correct.