MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Equipment shortages forced German soldiers to mount painted broomsticks instead of machine guns on armored personnel carriers as part of NATO Response Force (NRF) drills in Norway several months ago, two German magazines have revealed.
"Painted broomsticks were installed on GTK Boxer armored personnel carriers during training in Norway since no machine-gun barrels were available," the internal report reads as quoted by the publications.
The document goes on to say that in addition to full-scale shortages concerning personnel carriers, 41 percent of German soldiers lack P8 Luger semi-automatic pistols, and another 31 percent – the MG3 machine gun.
Although the German Federal Ministry of Defense declined to answer questions on the subject, it emphasized that "the [Rapid Response Force] unit is combat-ready."
The multinational NATO Response Force – made up of air, land, sea and special operation forces – conducted Noble Ledger exercises in Rena, Norway and Wildflecken, Germany on September 8-26, 2014.
As part of the larger 13,000-strong Noble Justification exercise that continued into October 2014, 15 NATO member states deployed nearly 6,000 military and civilian personnel in field training exercises.