1 German-Netherlands Corps in Münster is a NATO Headquarters with high readiness and as such it is capable of taking over the command of any mission up to 100,000 soldiers. It was founded in 1995 by the merger of the German 1st Corps and the Dutch 1st Corps. In 2020, the Corps celebrated its 25th anniversary as well the 15-year partnership with its garrison city Münster. 

We are a multi-tool of military leadership — that’s our fundamental concept. Be it NATO, European Union, United Nations or both framework nations that mandate the Corps with land/joint or humanitarian operations, the Corps is capable of conducting them and has already proven this several times.

In 2003, 2009 and 2013, the HQ led the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. In 2005, 2008, 2015 and 2019, we were on stand-by as Land Component Command of the NATO Response Force/NRF. In 2017/18 and 2020/21, we were and will be once again on stand-by for worldwide operations as NATO Joint Task Force Headquarters.

Despite the enormous differences between these roles, a certain approach is fundamental to us: the so-called comprehensive approach. This means that a conflict cannot be solved by military means alone. Therefore, it is of great importance for 1 (GE/NL) Corps to cooperate closely and trustfully with governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Side by side with civilian expertise

1 (GE/NL) Corps has significantly shaped this NATO approach by initiating the exercise COMMON EFFORT in 2010, which takes place rotatingly in Berlin and The Hague. This exercise brings together development aid workers, diplomats, think tanks, the private sector and multinational armed forces to commonly exercise civil-military cooperation. The Corps founded together with 24 organisations the so-called Common Effort Community in 2015, which has since further developed the Comprehensive Approach and thus deepened the cooperation. The community has grown to over 50 international organisations that jointly develop concepts, plan and conduct exercises and thus generate important insights for policy makers.

From 2019 to 2021, COMMON EFFORT focuses on the Sahel region. Together with local representatives from the region, the Community offers a platform to develop real solutions for the region’s diverse challenges.

2021: Joint Task Force HQ (Land)

In its role as JTFHQ (L), 1 (GE/NL) Corps is capable of planning, designing and conducting joint operations which take place primarily on land. In other words: The Corps is able to lead several divisions/brigades and at the same time coordinate elements from Navy, Air Force and Special Forces. 

Such complex operations of joint forces have their own challenges. For the Corps this means to adjust regulations, operating principles, and communication systems on an individual and flexible basis as well as to include additional new capabilities.

In the age of hybrid warfare, in which tanks and aircrafts are no longer the only factors for the success of a mission, the cyber information space has become an important, even essential component. 1 (GE/NL) Corps therefore continuously expands such capabilities in order to counter any threats in a multinationally coordinated manner.

In 2020, the Corps proved its Mission Ready Status JTFHQ (L) during the exercise STEADFAST JUPITER/JACKAL. At the same time, the HQ is constantly evolving to adapt to the changing world and the deriving possible security challenges. 

A dominant issue until 2027 will be the  Warfighting Corps which means the capablities that make up the core of highly mobile and flexible military conflict control with full involvement of the comprehensive approach.

Multinationality is key – together strong 

For more than 25 years now, the Corps embodies multinationality. Apart from Dutch and German soldiers, military personnel from ten different NATO members serve in the English-speaking Headquarters (Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Turkey, Czech Republic, USA and United Kingdom). Friendship and cooperation between the various nations create a trust which is indispensable in the event of a crisis. 

And meanwhile, the German-Dutch cooperation has long since realised the deepened integration. One works for one another – not just with each other. 

This is also demonstrated by the Corps´ motto:

 “Communitate Valemus – Together Strong!”

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