Deutschland — Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK)



Why KSK?
The deci­sion to cre­ate a Bun­deswehr Spe­cial Forces unit for free­ing and res­cu­ing Ger­man hostages was made in 1994 when in Rwan­da Bel­gian sol­diers had to res­cue Ger­man employ­ees of the “Deutschen Welle” (a Ger­man radio sta­tion). Also in the past Ger­many had to rely on friend­ly coun­tries dur­ing sim­i­lar actions for exam­ple in 1990/91 when Ger­mans were evac­u­at­ed from Iraq, Sau­di-Ara­bia and Israel.

Area of action Kom­man­do Spezial Kräfte (Source: : Kom­man­do Spezial Kräfte (KSK) has got sev­er­al jobs to do com­pa­ra­ble to the Delta Force of the US and the British SAS.

1. The pro­tec­tion of Ger­man facil­i­ties and forces in for­eign coun­tries as well as per­sons in spe­cial sit­u­a­tions.

  • The recon­noi­ter and con­trol of impor­tant oper­a­tion way­points, areas and com­mu­ni­ca­tion lines in some dis­tance away
  • The pre­ven­tive actions against ene­my forces and cov­ered oper­at­ing oppo­nents before they can reach ger­man facil­i­ties or mil­i­tary forces
  • Direct pro­tec­tion of per­sons of risk with­in a dan­ger­ous zone or till the leav­ing of the dan­ger­ous zone

2. Evac­u­at­ing, res­cu­ing and sav­ing of per­sons in a ter­ror­ist threat or a threat caused by the war

  • Evac­u­at­ing and sav­ing of Ger­man cit­i­zens and oth­er per­sons from war and civ­il war zones: amongst oth­er things the res­cu­ing of hostages
  • Track­ing down and res­cu­ing of Ger­man sol­diers, that have been cap­tured or have been tak­ing as hostages dur­ing for­eign oper­a­tions of the Bun­deswehr and the return to their units

3. Recon­nais­sance for the cre­ation of the own infor­ma­tion supe­ri­or­i­ty 

  • Gain­ing of key infor­ma­tion for the polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary con­trol over the oper­a­tion zone, ene­my facil­i­ties, troop move­ments, posi­tions, per­sons and more
  • Recon­noi­ter and con­trol tar­gets with a high mil­i­tary sig­nif­i­cance

4. fight against tar­gets with a high pri­or­i­ty on ene­my or from the ene­my occu­pied area

  • occu­py­ing, destroy­ing or par­a­lyz­ing of impor­tant objects, facil­i­ties and weapons for the ene­my ware­fare

Orig­i­nal­ly the KSK should have reached the full strength of approx­i­mate­ly 1,100 sol­diers in 2001. But because of the high demands and the high qual­i­ty of the train­ing the goal will be reached lat­er.

The unit struc­ture is like this


  • Staff 
    • Group fur­ther devel­op­ment
    • Sup­port­ing units
  • staff and sup­ply com­pa­ny 
    • sup­port com­pa­ny
    • sig­nal com­pa­ny 
  • Task forces: 
    • 4 x com­mand com­pa­nies
    • Fern­spähkom­panie 
    • Aus­bil­dungs- und Ver­such­szen­trum 
  • Com­mand com­pa­nies are divid­ed in pla­toons, which have sev­er­al tasks
    • 1st pla­toon oper­ates by land 
    • 2nd pla­toon oper­ates by air 
    • 3rd pla­toon for amphibi­ous oper­a­tions 
    • 4th pla­toon oper­ates under extreme geo­graph­i­cal­ly and mete­o­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions 

The com­mand com­pa­nies are made up by pro­fes­sion­al sol­diers and sol­diers serv­ing for a mixed peri­od. Only offi­cers till the age of 30, enlist­ed with porte­pee till 32 and enlist­ed with­out porte­pee till 28 are accept­ed for the appli­ca­tion. In the oth­er units (staff, sup­port, …) are also per­sons liable for mil­i­tary ser­vice.
The KSK is already in action on the Balkan and has arrest­ed war crim­i­nals togeth­er with allied Spe­cial Forces. Afghanistan is anoth­er area where they are in action.

Planned troop strength

Kom­man­dokom­panienEach approx. 80
Fern­spähkom­man­dokom­panie approx. 100
3 Unter­stützungskom­panien approx. 580


 approx. 1.100

Apti­tude test and pre­req­ui­site

More detailed infor­ma­tion are avail­able at the web­site of the Deutschen Heeres: Beruf / Auswahl und Aus­bil­dung / Kon­tak­tadresse / Bewer­bung