German Minister of Defence in Afghanistan briefed on counter-IED role of Mini MineWolf
The German Defence Minister, Mr Thomas de Maizière, visited the German troops in the two military camps of Feisabad and Masar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan on 3 July 2012. The purpose of this visit was to view the equipment belonging to the German armed forces.
In line with his brief, the Minister was informed of the role of the Mini MineWolf (MW240) in the counter-IED operations in Afghanistan. According to Heiko Bohnsack (Commander Task Force Kunduz) the risk of being fired upon during combat has decreased. Predominantly improvised explosive devices (IEDs) continue to pose the main threats.
As part of the German Route-Clearance Package, seven Mini MineWolf platforms were purchased by the Bundeswehr in early 2011. The platforms came complete with various multi-purpose attachments for mine clearance, counter-IED and general engineering tasks. To date they have saved the lives of many NATO troops and Afghan civilians.
The Minister’s visit was part of the assessment of logistics related to the troops’ withdrawal from the country to be completed in 2014. Decisions on what will be shipped back to Germany, handed over to the Afghans or scrapped are to be made in due course. The aim is to enable the Afghans to gradually become capable of upholding their country’s security up to being fully autonomous in 2014.
It was also announced on 3 July 2012 that Germany will provide Afghanistan with more than €400m p.a. to rebuild the country. The Mini MineWolfs as multi-purpose clearance platforms will be well placed to take on such a role.