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The Defense Attaché Office (DAO)
5 MINUTE READ
September 1, 2022

The Defense Attaché office Berlin is one of the oldest in the Defense Attaché System. The Defense Attaché Office in Germany traces its origin to the establishment of U.S. Military Attachés in the 1880s. Excepting the period during and immediately after the two World Wars (1917-1921 and 1941-1954, respectively) when there was no U.S. diplomatic presence in Germany, there has been a military attaché assigned to Germany since 1880.

The Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché (SDO/DATT) is the primary military advisor to the Ambassador and Country Team on military issues and developments within Germany. Additionally he represents the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, United States European Command, and greater Department of Defense (DoD) elements; is designated as the Security Cooperation Officer for Germany; plans and coordinates U.S. military activities with the German Armed Forces throughout Germany (including coordination with DoD, Joint Staff, and USEUCOM); observes and reports on German military developments; oversees U.S. military training programs (including Foreign Area Officer in-country training and the Personnel Exchange Programs); and supports DoD and other VIP visits. The SDO/DATT is a member of the Country Team.  In addition to the SDO/DATT, this office has a Navy Captain and Army & Air Force colonels who represent their respective service secretaries and chiefs. DAO Berlin has a total of nine attachés and five support staff, with five Locally Employed Staff members.

The size of USDAO Berlin is not surprising, as Germany is home to the largest number of DoD personnel in Europe. Present U.S. troop strength is roughly 38,500 uniformed members. Additionally, there are approximately 18,000 DoD civilians and contractors in Germany, as well as over 86,000 family members.

Germany hosts two four-star Combatant Commands, U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM); two four-star EUCOM component commands, U.S. Army Europe and Africa (USAREUR-AF) and U.S. Air Forces Europe-Africa (USAFE-AFAF); and EUCOM component commands U.S. Marine Forces Europe (MARFOREUR) and U.S. Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR).  The largest U.S. training base outside of the United States is located in Germany in Grafenwöhr-Hohenfels in Bavaria.  In total, there are fifteen general officer commands in Germany.

Contact
Defense Attaché Office
U.S. Embassy
Clayallee 170 (mail)
14195 Berlin
Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 8305 2461
Fax: +49 (0) 30 8305 2065
Email: usdaoberlin@state.gov

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