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About us

The Bundeswehr Verification Center (BwVC) at Geilenkirchen has a unique mission. Since 1991, it has been ensuring the implementation of currently 21 arms control treaties and agreements which the Federal Republic of Germany concluded with other states and which are either politically binding or binding under international law. The Center is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Defense and receives guidance from the Federal Foreign Office. The approximately 170 staff members conduct observation flights over many countries in the world, inspect military installations of partner states and escort foreign delegations visiting Germany for inspections. Since its establishment, the BwVC has carried out some 3,000 arms control missions, roughly two thirds of them abroad.

The Center bears sole responsibility for national arms control training activities within the Bundeswehr, and it also offers an increasing number of international training courses for other States Parties or participating States. The BwVC is headed by a brigadier general and has five divisions.

General Arms Control Affairs Division

Drei Sodlaten besichtigen eine Kanone
German-French CFE inspection in Georgia (Quelle: ZVBw)Größere Abbildung anzeigen

The General Arms Control Affairs Division is responsible for general and central policy tasks which arise from all treaties and agreements dealt with by the BwVC. Those tasks comprise matters of policy, assistance in the development of concepts and provision of political advice for the ministerial level, as well as international cooperation and arms control training courses for the entire Bundeswehr. The division staff prepare proposals for the advancement of arms control arrangements, analyze the information provided by other states and evaluate treaty compliance of individual countries. The division is responsible for maintaining and updating the arms control documentation of the Bundeswehr, and it runs the Operations Center that is manned 24/7 and serves as a point of contact for BwVC personnel on arms control missions.

Regional Arms Control Division

Mehrere Soldaten verschiedener Nationen im Gespräch
Inspection pursuant to the Vienna Document in Azerbaijan (Quelle: ZVBw)Größere Abbildung anzeigen

The Regional Conventional Arms Control Division is concerned with implementing conventional arms control treaties and agreements in Europe. Currently, the work is centered on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty) and the Vienna Document 2011 as well as the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA). In the context of exercising the rights and fulfilling the obligations arising from these treaties for the Federal Republic of Germany, the division compiles information on the German armed forces that is then exchanged with the partner states, and analyzes the data provided by them. The soldiers of the division travel as far as the Central Asian region to verify the data provided in the information exchanges through inspections and evaluation visits. In return, the division escorts teams of the States Parties or participating States which conduct inspections and evaluation visits in Germany.

Global Arms Control Division

Mehrere Soldaten stehen vor einem Tisch mit Munition
Support rendered to a training course on ammunition storage in Kenya (Quelle: ZVBw)Größere Abbildung anzeigen

The Global Arms and Proliferation Control Division is responsible for implementing the military aspects of a considerable number of arms control arrangements, which include treaties and agreements on the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons, the ban of nuclear tests and the non-proliferation of means of delivery technology as well as international agreements governing arms transfers and ammunition management. The division’s mission area spans the globe. Currently, a primary focus of the division is Africa, where soldiers provide training assistance.

Open Skies Division

Mehrere Soldaten verschiedener Nationen an Bord eines Flugzeuges
On board of an Open Skies observation aircraft (Quelle: ZVBw)Größere Abbildung anzeigen

The Open Skies Division ensures implementation of the Treaty on Open Skies. The division plans and conducts observation flights over other States Parties, operating in a region that ranges from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The Federal Republic of Germany currently employs other States Parties’ aircraft for those flights, but Germany will again have a national observation aircraft from 2020 on. In addition, the division provides support to and escorts delegations from other States Parties during their observation flights over Germany.

Ein Flgzeug während des Fluges
The future OS observation aircraft – A319 (Quelle: ZVBw)Größere Abbildung anzeigen

Staff Support Division

The Staff Support Division ensures the general operational readiness of the BwVC. It is responsible for accomplishing the primary staff functions, i.e. personnel and disciplinary affairs, press and public relations, personnel and military security, the military personnel’s basic and advanced training, logistic support, the vehicle fleet and information and communications technology. In addition, the division maintains a national arms control data base.


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