The Bundeswehr and their reservists invite to the IMM in Germany including a colorful family-program on October 1st
Rheydt Castle is probably the safest place in all of Germany on Saturday, October 1st: Several hundred soldiers, police officers, firefighters, customs, the technical relief organization, judicial staff and rescue services will be present around the moated castle throughout the day – as a participant in the “38. International Mönchengladbach Military Competition”. This is followed by a colorful “Day of encounters with the Bundeswehr” for the whole family.
The event will be officially opened at 1 p.m. by Brigadier General Dieter Meyerhoff, Commander North Rhine-Westphalia State Command, energetically accompanied by the Bundeswehr Music Corps from Hilden. A colorful supporting program on the stage in the inner courtyard with lots of music follows well into the evening. The new rescue helicopter LUH SAR, presented for the first time at the IMM last year, will again land in the large car park west of the castle. Historical military vehicles of the Bundeswehr will also be exhibited there again. This time it will also be available in mini format: The reservists’ working group for military model construction from Celle has announced its unusual fleet of vehicles on a scale of 1:87 to 1:8. More than 1000 spectators visited the IMM last year.
The large tournament meadow in front of the castle will be equipped with an obstacle course, a climbing tower and a biathlon facility where harmless laser guns will be fired in an environmentally friendly manner. Watching and cheering are also expressly desired here. With the 15 different tasks, “brains, strength and stamina are equally required,” promises reserve captain Markus Stops, who has taken over the management of the IMM for the fifth time. This international event is the oldest eventing competition of its kind in the world. This time the international meeting is overshadowed by the war in Ukraine: 23 teams from four nations have registered so far, fewer than usual, because many “regulars” will probably have to work in their staffs and units over the weekend. “But we are flexible if someone can still take part at short notice,” says Stops. “After all, since 1984 it has been our goal to build bridges between nations. We also want to fly the flag together. That is particularly important to us right now.”
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, who donated the winner’s plate, honored the decades of commitment of the volunteer reservists in her greeting: “This year, the world situation is making us more aware than ever of how important understanding and partnership are. The IMM is an excellent example of how this can be achieved through sport, when we open the gates here and build bridges between friends and allies: in the fight against the stopwatch as well as in the time spent together in between and after.” Continue writing Lambrecht: “Behind such an event there is always great commitment and many helping hands. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank everyone who organizes this event year after year and thus continues the tradition of the IMM with a lot of passion and personal commitment.”
“Competitions offer a fantastic opportunity to put to the test those skills that we have learnt and honed in training. It focusses the mind and spirit, bringing people together to demonstrate their commitment and passion. International competition goes one step further; they provide a great occasion to compete alongside our Allies and partners, helping us to learn and share our military cultures, ethos and capabilities. And that spirit of cooperation is no more evident than the presence of our multinational Battlegroups deployed on NATO’s Eastern flank”, says Colonel Tim A S Hill, Commander NATO Forward Holding Base Sennelager.
The competition starts at eight in the morning. An award ceremony in the inner courtyard of the castle, where information stands are also set up and at noon you are invited to the legendary Bundeswehr pea soup for a donation for a good cause, will conclude the 38th IMM at around 8 p.m. Admission is free throughout the day.