The Bundeswehr has reported that the last of its troops have left Afghanistan after almost 20 years of service. Three A400Ms carried the final 264-member contingent, made up of Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK) commandos and their support echelon, from Kabul to Wunstorf air force base, not far from Hanover, arriving at 13:52 (CEST) today.
They then cased their field flag until needed later.
The Bundestag passed the initial Afghanistan mandate on 22 December 2001 and, just three weeks later, German soldiers took part in a patrol in Kabul for the first time. Since then, around 150,000 German troops have cycled through the country, like Americans often serving multiple deployments.
No less than 59 German soldiers were killed there, 35 of them in combat. These included the first German reservists and the first German policemen to die in deployments abroad since 1945.
Importantly, the Teutonic troops sent back 65,000 cans of beer from Afghanistan as part of their evac from the country.
Leave no bier behind.
Berlin is not out of the country building just yet. Earlier this week 12 German troops were wounded by a suicide bomber while serving with the MINUSMA mission in Mali.