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: www.deutschesheer.de) : 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
- Group further development
- Supporting units
- staff and supply company
- support company
- signal company
- Task forces:
- 4 x command companies
- 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
|Kommandokompanien||Each approx. 80|
|3 Unterstützungskompanien||approx. 580|
Aptitude test and prerequisite