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Field Post Service marks 30th anniversary: serving German troops abroad in times of unrest

05/19/2022, 10:00 AM CEST

Some 165,000 parcels and small packages and approximately 130,000 letters and postcards weighing a combined 1,300 tons were shipped in 2021 alone.

  • Some 270 field post personnel at eight foreign locations provide postal services for members of the German military, bringing them mail and parcels from home
  • Around 300,000 shipments with a combined weight of approximately 1,300 tons transported in 2021
  • Field Post Office Representative Friedhelm Rompel: "Maintaining ties with home is vital for the troops"

Bonn,Darmstadt - For the past 30 years, Germany's "Feldpost" or field post service has provided members of the German Armed Forces serving abroad with post from home year round - hand-written birthday letters, postcards from holiday destinations and Christmas parcels filled with festive cookies. Some 165,000 parcels and small packages and approximately 130,000 letters and postcards weighing a combined 1,300 tons were shipped in 2021 alone. Currently, field post services are provided at eight field post offices located in Pristina (Kosovo), Rukla (Lithuania), Al-Asrag (Jordan), Erbil (northern Iraq), Koulikoro (Mali), Gao (Mali) and Niamey (Niger). Postal services for military personnel stationed abroad are coordinated by the Field Post Office Control Center in Darmstadt.

Explains Friedhelm Rompel, who took over as Deutsche Post Field Post Representative on March 1, 2021: "That the field post office has operated abroad for the past 30 years highlights 30 years of successful collaboration between Deutsche Post and the German armed forces in the care and welfare of military personnel serving abroad. Maintaining ties with home is vital in keeping up morale and mental stability among the troops, particularly in turbulent times like these. Be it personal messages, birthday cards, family photos or small gifts - the field post office helps keep homesickness at bay and provides distraction, taking military personnel's minds off the often dangerous conditions in which they serve."

The cornerstone for the field post office collaboration was laid on May 22, 1992 - initially to provide postal services to German troops serving in the Bundeswehr's humanitarian mission in Cambodia. With subsequent deployments in the Balkans and Afghanistan, the field post office took on an increasingly important role. Mail is delivered in the crisis regions by Deutsche Post employees, just as it is in Germany. These employees volunteer to join the field post office service and are jointly trained by the Bundeswehr and Deutsche Post as field post military personnel. There are some 270 field post personnel currently in active service.

The field post segment provides German military personnel with the same services offered by Deutsche Post back home. In addition to sending and receiving letters, small packages and parcels, they can use the field post office for Postbank transactions. Letters and parcels sent to them from Germany are posted in the usual way via Deutsche Post mailboxes or retail outlets and are forwarded straight to Darmstadt. Postage costs are the same as for domestic parcels and mail. Once in Darmstadt, the shipments are handed over to the Bundeswehr's field post office unit, which ensures that the mail and parcels are quickly shipped to their destinations and then delivered to recipients without delay.

Last summer, the field post service completed a special and rather unusual mission in Germany, when the floods in the Ahr valley cut off entire districts from the outside world, wiping out infrastructure in some places. Within a short space of time, the field post office set up three emergency post offices to replace those that were no longer operational - thereby ensuring that despite the disastrous conditions, residents were at least able to stay connected by sending and receiving parcels and mail.

Alexander Edenhofer

Mail Products & Services, Regulation Issues, Postal Policy, E-Mobility, Bonn Topics

DHL Group
Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 20
53113 Bonn

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