(Bloomberg) -- The Netherlands is getting ready to integrate the rest of its combat brigades into the German Army as the two allies join military forces amid increased security threats in the region after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The two allies are now working on integrating the Netherlands’s 13th Light Brigade into the German Army’s 10th Panzer Division, Major Mark van de Beek, a spokesperson for the Royal Netherlands Army, told Bloomberg via phone on Wednesday. The Dutch land force has three combat brigades and two of them are already integrated into the German military.
The merger of the last remaining 3,000-soldier brigade may come as early as April but the Dutch government has yet to make its final decision, said Van de Beek. The Dutch cabinet is “investigating” the possible integration, Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said in a September letter to the parliament.
The plan will result in a joint force of around 50,000 military personnel, with roughly 8,000 soldiers coming from the Netherlands, according to Dutch newspaper NRC. The integration plans don’t include the Korps Commandotroepen, the special forces unit of the Dutch Army.
The Netherlands also operates the Leopard tanks it leased from Berlin under Germany’s 1st Panzer Division. The country is open to paying for Leopard tanks to be sent to Ukraine as part of a coalition of European and NATO allies, Ollongren told Bloomberg in an interview last month.
The Netherlands and Germany are also looking into joint purchases military equipment and alignment of military regulations, Van de Beek said.
A spokesman for the German Defense Ministry didn’t have an immediate comment.
--With assistance from Michael Nienaber.
(Updates with Dutch minister’s comments on Leopard tanks in the fifth paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected the number of soldiers in Dutch brigades)
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