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The German special forces include the Special Operations Commanddisambiguation needed (Kommando Spezialkräfte, KSK) of the German Army and the Naval Special Forces Command (Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine, KSM) of the German Navy. Both are regular units and fully integrated in the branches of the German Armed Forces. During operations, special forces are led by the special operations division of the Bundeswehr Joint Operations Command (Einsatzführungskommando der Bundeswehr) in Potsdam, which belongs to the Joint Support Service (Streitkräftebasis).

Beside KSK and KSM, there is a numerous of specialized units which are able to support special forces operations.

Special Forces[edit | edit source]

Army Special Forces[edit | edit source]

Most German special forces are part of the Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK) which was founded in 1996. The KSK is a brigade level unit and stationed in Calw. It is under the command of the Rapid Response Forces Division (Division Schnelle Kräfte) and made up of around 1.100 soldier. Most of them serve in the support forces department.

  • Kommando Spezialkräfte
    • HQ KSK
      • Psychological Service
      • Language Service
    • Force Development Group
    • Operational Forces
      • 1st Commando Company
      • 2nd Commando Company
      • 3rd Commando Company
      • 4th Commando Company
      • Special Commando Company
      • Training Centre
    • Support Forces
      • HQ & Support Company
      • Signal Company
      • Support Company
      • Medial Centre

Naval Special Forces[edit | edit source]

The Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine (KSM) was founded in 2014 and built around the Commando Frogmen Company (Kampfschwimmerkompanie), the oldest German special forces unit. The KSM is based in Eckernförde and part of the 1st Flotilla (Einsatzflottille 1) in Kiel.

  • Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine
    • HQ KSM
      • S1 - Personnel
      • S2/6 - Intelligence/Communications
      • S3 - Operations
      • S4 - Logistics
        • Operations Support Team Air (Einsatzgruppe Luft)
        • Diver Depot
        • Vehicle Repair Squad
      • Analysis & Development Group
      • Special Operation Medial Support Team (SOMST)
    • Commando Frogmen Company
      • Commando Frogmen Teams (Kampfschwimmereinsatzteams, KSET)
      • Operations Support Team Sea (Einsatzgruppe See)
    • Tactics and Training Group (Gruppe Grundlagen, Verfahren, Taktik und Ausbildung, GVTA)

Special Forces Aviation[edit | edit source]

The KSK is currently supported by the German Army Aviation Corps and - since reorientation of the Bundeswehr in 2010 - by the helicopter force of the German Air Force. From 2015, the KSK gets its own aviation component made up of 15 EC645 T2 utility helicopters. They will be part of the Helicopter Wing 64 at the Holzdorf Air Base.

The KSM is supported by the Naval Air Wing 5 in Nordholz which operates the Westland Lynx and Westland Sea King.

Specialized Forces[edit | edit source]

Special Operations Training Centre[edit | edit source]

Originally established in 1979 as an international school for long-range reconnaissance patrol team, the Ausbildungszentrum Spezielle Operationen is responsible for initial and further training of special and specialized forces. The centre has the size of a regiment, is subordinate to Army Training Commando and based in Pfullendorf.

Special Forces Support Units[edit | edit source]

In order to support the KSK, the Germany Army developed a concept of specialized forces (Spezialierte Kräfte des Heeres mit erweiteter Grundgefähigung für spezielle Operationen, EGB). This includes a numerous of army units, mostly airborne forces. A distinction is made between the main operational forces and support forces. All of them are independent units respectively part of regular formations.

In 2013, the operational forces consists of:

The support force are made up of:

  • 2 x airborne reconnaissance companies
  • 4 x K9 platoons of the Fallschirmjäger
  • 1 x Mountain Leader Platoon of the Gebirgsjäger reconnaissance company
  • 4 x Fallschirmjäger Joint Fire Support Coordination Teams
  • 4 x Fallschirmjäger Joint Fire Support Teams
  • 1 x electronic warfare platoon
  • several units, e.g. medics and PSYOPS

Fleet Protection Forces[edit | edit source]

From 1997 until spring 2014, both naval special forces (commando frogmen) and naval specialized forces (mine clearance divers and boarding trained naval infantry men) were organized into the Naval Specialized Deployment Forces, a battalion-sized unit with four companies. The ideas was to combine all specialized skills into one single formation. At the beginning, it was planned to create a force protection company beside the Boarding Company to support operations of the commando frogmen.

Through the reorientation of the Bundeswehr, the commando frogmen got their own battaillon while naval infantry (including HUMINT experts) and mine clearance divers were summarized into the Naval Force Protection Battalion (Seebataillon) in Eckernförde. The formation is often described as the "multi tool of the German Navy". So, the battalion is able to support special forces operations.

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