First female commander takes charge of German naval base

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BERLIN/DPA/ – For the first time in history, a woman has assumed command of a German naval base. Inka von Puttkamer, the newly appointed commander of the 3rd Minesweeper Squadron, expressed her fondness for the familiar waters of her new home during a ceremonial roll call at the Kiel naval base.

Von Puttkamer, alongside another female soldier, made history as the first women to hold command positions in the navy. Prior to this, she served as the commander of the minehunter Homburg and deputy commander of the 3rd Minesweeper Squadron in Kiel.

Frigate Captain Inka von Puttkamer stands on the deck of the minesweeper

The 41-year-old Wilhelmshaven native aspires to be a role model. She appreciates the Bundeswehr’s support in allowing her and her husband to balance their leadership roles with family life. She acknowledges the challenges but affirms that with proper organization and planning, it is achievable.

Von Puttkamer hopes her appointment sends a clear message: the Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed forces, is committed to empowering women to assume leadership roles.

The 3rd Minesweeper Squadron, which she now commands, comprises 10 minehunting vessels. Notably, the squadron recently discovered a 1.8-ton British aerial mine, the largest unexploded World War II bomb ever found in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, during an exercise in the Kiel Fjord.

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