Hydrogeology and the Bundeswehr: water supply to German armed forces in Somalia, Kosovo and Afghanistan between 1993 and 2010
Dierk Willig, 2012. "Hydrogeology and the Bundeswehr: water supply to German armed forces in Somalia, Kosovo and Afghanistan between 1993 and 2010", Military Aspects of Hydrogeology, E. P. F. Rose, J. D. Mather
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An army, the Bundeswehr, was created in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1956, from the 1960s supported by full-time geologists employed as civilians but with reserve army military ranks. A peak geologist strength (about 20) was achieved in the 1980s, to provide expertise that included hydrogeology. Roles in these Cold War years were confined to Germany, but included guidance to ensure that potable water would be available both to the civilian population and armed forces during a state of emergency, and the optimum siting of boreholes to supply water to military installations. In 1993, Bundeswehr troops deployed overseas, to support United Nations (UN) peace-keeping operations in Somalia. Military geological expertise was used to site wells that enhanced secure water supplies for German and other UN personnel, and the civilian population. In 1999, Bundeswehr troops were among those of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) deployed to Kosovo. Wells to supply water to German troops in Albania and Yugoslavian Macedonia prior to deployment, and in Kosovo itself, were drilled under civilian contract but military geologist guidance. From 2002, Bundeswehr troops joined coalition forces in Afghanistan. Well drilling was again guided by military geologist expertise, but contract drilling proved inadequate, so was supplemented by rigs operated by military engineers. These operations have proved the value to the Bundeswehr of retaining military expertise in both hydrogeology and well drilling.