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Austin Thanks Chancellor for Germany Boosting Defense Spending 

March 30, 2022 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

Germany has shown tremendous leadership at this crucial moment. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's decision to bolster Germany's armed forces is bold and historic, said Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III in a meeting in the Pentagon today with German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht.  

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III meets with German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht at the Pentagon.
Pentagon Meeting
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III meets with German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht at the Pentagon, March 30, 2022.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Zachary Wheeler, DOD
VIRIN: 220330-D-SH180-1200

"We look forward to working with you to implement these important changes. We also salute Germany's decision to send security assistance to Ukraine. Your example helped inspire other allies and partners to follow, Austin said.  

"We applaud your decision to invest in your armed forces, pledging to spend more than 2% of your economic output on defense and establishing a special fund for the armed forces," he said.  

Soldiers train with guns.
Eagle Agility
Soldiers with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade participate in Exercise Eagle Agility at the 7th Army Training Command's Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, March 17, 2022.
Photo By: Gertrud Zach, Army
VIRIN: 220317-A-HE359-0373

Austin thanked Lambrecht for hosting U.S. deployed forces in recent months. "I've experienced Germany's hospitality to U.S. personnel firsthand. And I'm very grateful for your support for our deployed troops," he said.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin's war of choice has taken a terrible toll in civilian casualties and forced millions of innocent Ukrainians to flee their country, Austin said.    

Sailors salute from a ship deck.
Rendering Honors
Sailors render honors to the Kiel Submarine Memorial aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman during an outbound transit from Kiel, Germany, March 21, 2022.
Photo By: Navy Seaman Eric Moser
VIRIN: 220321-N-CF580-0061C

"Russia isn't just attacking Ukraine. It's also attacking the principles at the core of trans-Atlantic security. So we're proud to stand alongside our allies and partners in supporting Ukraine and its sovereignty and in imposing consequences on Russia for its aggression," he said.  

"Together, we've sent a clear message. Any challenge to our security will meet a firm and united response. And our commitment to NATO's collective defense is ironclad," he added.    

A soldier shoots a pistol.
Pistol Training
A soldier from 2-227th General Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, shoots his pistol at a training range at the Oberdachstetten Training Area, Germany, March 4, 2022.
Photo By: Army Sgt. Jason Greaves
VIRIN: 220304-A-DG300-0017

Together, the United States and Germany will continue to look for ways to foster peace in Europe and around the world, the secretary said.  

"The relationship between the United States and Germany is good and it's sustainable and permanent," said Lambrecht.   

Germany and other NATO nations stand united against Putin, she said, mentioning the punishing sanctions against Russia and arms deliveries to Ukraine.