Command of special forces

Barettabzeichen KSK
toque badge KSK

the command of special forces (KSK) is one in the count Zeppelin - barracks in the württembergischen Calw stationed special-purpose force of the German Federal Armed Forces.

Against the first linguistic impression does not stand here the term command for „the command activity “(for this those comparesfrom the tasks English Commando Forces or the command troops of the breaking citizens of the armed forces used), but a special form of the military agencies designation here (see also army guidance command, the z. B. nothing with „orders for command “to do has).

Table of contents

classification and emergence

the command forms together with the air landing brigade 26 and the air landing brigade 31 the division special operations (DSO), those again to part of the reaction force of the German German Federal Armed Forcesis. As models predominantly the British Special to air, in addition, US Special Forces are considered to service (SAS). The KSK internationally already gained and developed in its comparatively short history a good reputation over the model search into thatfirst years outside meanwhile its own identity.

Cause for the list of the KSK was the fact that during the genocide in Rwanda German citizens had to be evacuated from Belgian paratroopers. International criticism at the inability of the Federal Republic of Germany,Precaution for the protection of its citizens to meet, made the supply of directly operational forces necessary. At that time German paratroopers of the B1 command companies, a forerunner of the KSK, in alert stand-by, had been shifted the Federal Government decided however against the employment andNATO asked - partners for assistance.

Since its establishment the KSK was used for pursuit by war criminals in former Yugoslavia and in the framework of the operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The KSK is merged and troop official into the structure of the German Federal Armed Forcesa regular federation in the army. The KSK cannot be used in principle without agreement of the German federal daily. The only possible exception is danger in the delay for German citizens, in this case is as fast the parliament as possible laterto ask.

Details of KSK employments are kept secret, it give also afterwards no published official statistics over it, how many humans were killed or hurt with employments of the KSK.

guidance and structure

KSK-Vorführung auf der ILA 2000
KSK demonstration on the ILA 2000

the federation KSK is divided into the command core range and a support range, that the logistic supply, which and readiness of application of the soldiers guidance support is to grant. Besides step still the staff KSK, that for the co-ordination by training, exercise and employment are structured andthe group of advancement GrpWE KSK, those in particular for the conceptional updating of the employment procedures, ideas for the future, regulations, source documents and procurement/introduction of equipment such as z. B. Weapons, blowing up and igniting mixture, optically/optronic equipment, parachute systems, communications equipment, personal clothing etc. the KSKis responsible. Altogether the KSK has more than 45,000 different supplying articles, about which many special productions are.

The KSK has approximately 800 soldiers, of it is assigned the majority in the support, staff or communications range. In the KSK also completely normal people liable for military service, those servecarry important work out within the support range. The actual task forces within the command core range form a small core, which can operate and function only with the help of these support forces. The exact number of operational command soldiers (KdoOffz & KdoFw) is classified as classified material (VS).

Work on []


  • command of special forces (KSK)
    • task forces
      • four command companies
      • remote reconnaissance command company (dissolved and replaces by the special command company)
      • training and attempt center KSK
      • group of advancement
    • of support forces
      • staff and supplying company, inclusive Medical service
      • support company (logistics)
      • communications company

the command company

everyone of the four command companies existsfrom five command courses: Country, vertical, Amphibik, mountains arctic and since a restructuring before 2 years additionally from a command remote reconnaissance and a sniper course, which illustrate the clearing-up, Observations and specialist element within the command company. The thought behind it is, the command company asto enable and begin self-sufficient employment element in all command employment procedures. In addition each command company has a guidance course. Additionally the KSK has training and an attempt center AVZ for the basis training of the command candidates, the out and further training of the existing cadres and the internalLeader training (KdoOffz and serve-older KdoFw) within the command core range.

The remote reconnaissance command company was reorganized to a pure command company. Is fundamental each command soldier enables remote reconnaissance employments to accomplish, this ability is now distributed on all command companies. This was dissolved however in the course of a restructuring. Ontheir place stepped the special command company, which bundles special abilities within the range of the clearing-up and the pioneer nature in October 2004.

In addition, each course has its emphasis placing, goes through partially the placing training of the other courses. Besides all courses from that can Air (automatic release surface parachute) over their operational area to be set off. The KSK is in its whole an air landing federation with different placing possibilities. The placing is regarded however in each case as the way to the employment. Emphasis is and remains the high capability inRange saving and releasing, in which the KSK takes meanwhile a prominent role within the German special-purpose forces, also and straight in the comparison to the GSG 9.

The contacts to the GSG 9 apply on the working plane as good. Are comradely, partly also friendly personal connections exist. On the military and/or. there is police-political leadership level however isolates personal tuning and authority irritations. Central and on a long-term basis become probably these strict, separating structures of internal and outside security by normative Kraftthe actual one and the interfaces dissolve to be more strongly stressed. Different special-purpose forces of the Lands of the Federal Republic and the federation kommandieren their officials to training and training courses to Calw, in order to gain experiences and exchange information.

the command troop

the command troop (KdoTrp)the basic element is in the command fight. Each command troop consists of four command soldiers, of whom in each case one as weapons -, pioneer -, communications - or medical specialist is trained. This troop is led usually by an experienced command sergeant in the ranka main sergeant (HptFw). Several troops, or depending upon employment larger troops, are led by an experienced troop officer or a specialty service officer. The command officers (KdoOffz) go through fundamental the same training and/or. Specialization like the command sergeants (KdoFw) and become beyond that in the tactical-operationalRange more demanded and trained.

Mrs. in the KSK

female soldiers are not in the command companies represented, since they resemble here against the normal German Federal Armed Forces regulation, in this case very hard, physical requirements like the men to fulfill would haveand this of women to master usually is not. A ratio regulation as with some special units of the police does not give it within this range. It is open female soldiers however at any time to announce itself to a suitability statement procedure. In thatPeriphery of the command companies, as the training to find staff and supplying components of the KSK are against it women.


of employments command of special forces by the command guidance operations of special forces (Kdo FOSK) are operationally led in potsdam. This employment staff forms thoseoperational leadership level off and leads in principle all German special forces in the employment. The operations staff of the armed forces (FüS) represents the strategic leadership level and is thereby the link for politico-military guidance.


  • saving and releasing
  • profits of key information inCrisis and conflict regions
  • protection of persons in special layers
  • protection on distance
  • defense of terrorism
  • fight in the depth
  • arrest of persons abroad, who represent a special endangerment: War criminal, etc.
  • Covered operations
  • military support achievement abroad

these tasks can however or in the group with the specialized forces of the DSO (paratroopers) to be implemented. The KSK forms the core and other forces supports thereby.


Kommandoabzeichen KSK
command badge KSK

Von Bewerbern of the German Federal Armed Forces for the service in the KSK becomesgenerally it expects that they can correspond to the following basic conditions:

  • Above average physical efficiency
  • team ability
  • learning willingness
  • psychological maximum stress and strength of will
  • stress stability
  • sense of responsibility and discretion
  • life in arranged social conditions

at the beginning stands a multipart psychological and physical selective procedure, which three-month basic training follows.Applicants are brought to their physical and psychological maximum stress during the second part in a fünftägigen piercing exercise to to the borders. Only about 10-20% the applicant exist this part of the examination. Only after further two to three years training (basis training) andTraining in the KSK and troop schools of the German Federal Armed Forces and completing the single fighter training course part of 1 and 2, if yet does not complete, the survival training course for special forces (Combat Survival Course), attained the soldier the necessary training height and readiness of application, the so-called.Combat ready status.A candidate can be removed within these two to three years due to nonqualification from the KSK.

In this period it can participate possibly on up to 20 training courses in world-wide 17 schools and training facilities. However while the shooting training becomeseach future command soldier at all usual weapons trained and delivers 20,000 shot ammunition on the average in this time. Since Octobers 2005 can participate beside officers and NCOs also crew soldiers and applicants without military previous knowledge in the selective procedure. These candidates takefirst at the three-day-long selective procedure at one of the centers for new generation production of the German Federal Armed Forces part. If they exist this, they are adjusted into the training course KSK at the training centre for special operations in Pfullendorf. There they go through a 18 months continuing training course. Take afterwardsthe applicants at the actual suitability statement procedure with the KSK in Calw part. If they successfully lock this, they can begin with the three years lasting training as the command sergeant in the count Zeppelin barracks. In addition also the acquisition of very good knowledge in two countsForeign languages. The minimum obligation time amounts to six years after conclusion of the basis training. If they do not exist, they are to the German Federal Armed Forces for generally military uses at the disposal. The majority of this new candidate model does not create the requirements in the actual Eignungsfestellungsverfahren KSK.

At the end of this longWay the special badge command soldier is solemnly lent. The command soldier receives a monthly command extra pay beside his rank-dependent pay from at present 350 euro. A command soldier has to annually prove its abilities and its command fitness in a further test procedure. So long it the physical achievements, he furnishes in can remain the command.

Parts of the KSK can be landed not only with helicopters or set off with round head screens, but also be set off out up to 10,000 meters height. There are two procedures: the HAHO (High Altitude -High Opening), with which the parachute is already opened few seconds after the jump still in large height and which command troop slides out up to 70 km distance unnoticed to its place of work. Or HALO (High Altitude - Low Opening),with that the parachute in low height (900-1000 m height) is only opened. This makes an goal-exact safe setting possible off and quick readiness of application. With latter system Springer reach a top speed of 250 km/h. The abilities for parachute jump are in particular inthe vertical courses of the KSK shown.

training places

is trained the KSK world-wide: within a yearly a command soldier spends about 250 days on exercise. Among the training places rank among other things:

In its homeland barracks the KSK has an ultramodern “ShootingHouse ", one of the most modern mechanisms of their kind in Europe. Particularly the shooting place established for training and training of the KSK learning makes possible multiplicity of employment scenarios in the sharp shot and places in the international comparison according to statement of persons employed up-to-date (2003) thosemost modern plant of their kind world-wide. Here different international and German special-purpose forces also often practice like the mobile employment command (MEK) , the special employment command (sec. ) except the KSK (both from different land police) and the group of border control 9 (GSG 9). Of video cameras becomes supervisedhere experienced on three floors in computer simulation or in the sharp shot the employment. The entire mechanism (walls, corridors, stairs, doors, windows) can be shifted computer-controlled, so that no employment is the same. For example the sketch of each German message in that can World to be represented, in order to prepare the task forces purposefully at a possible occupation.


in principle is to be stated that the KSK in view to the weapon-technology and employment-referred equipment enjoys priority within that of material procurement nature and itself thereby on thatnewest state of the art within the hand weapon pallet of the German armed forces finds.

As a first troop unit the KSK received the 1996 again introduced G36 as well as in the following the modifications and/or. Extensions AG36 garnet throwers, G36KA1, G36KA2 and G36C.

The modular design of theseAn adjustment of the weapons makes rifles possible to respective operating conditions, about which with the KSK much use is particularly made. The soldiers of the KSK know their weapons with the laser light module (LLM), belonging to to the weapons, with image amplifier essays (NSA80), bipod or drum magazines with 100Shot rig. In addition for example Eotech of 552 reflex sights are to be found with the KSK in large spreading. Also the fundamental construction units of the weapon, like them the basic versions G36, will distinguish G36K and G36C with the KSK often exchanged, so that a clear classification thatused G36-Version after German Federal Armed Forces terminology is often no longer possible.

General it is to be considered regarding the armament like the remaining equipment that at a military special-purpose force substantially more personal liberty and possibility for private procurement are given by material, as with othersBranches of service. Therefore the official equipment pallet of the KSK is in the comparison to actually the equipment used in use rather limited.

Additionally a command troop can on the machine gun MG3 or the light machine gun G8 (H&K 21) as portable supporting weapon for largerDistances fall back. Both machine guns with goal lasers for night shooting and by the G36k admitted to Eotech visors to the day shooting rigged. Beyond that in particular the variants become the HC MP5 as well as the again introduced MP7 (PDW ) in the copy-strong caliber of 4,6x30mm in the urbanen area of applicationbegun.

The moreover one, likewise first with the KSK, a variant of the HC USP (universal Selbstladepistole) under the designation P8C was introduced, before this emerged as standard pistol with the remaining German Federal Armed Forces. Opposite the P8 does not possess the P8C a safety device, it can onlyover the safety device to be away eased. Further laid out secondary weapons are available like the P12 (HC USP TAC TIC aluminum folder) in the substantially stronger caliber of,45 (11,43mm) on special operations. This short weapon becomes to a large extent from the snipers of the KSK as secondary armament only in connectionwith a muffler and special subsonic ammunition uses.

The snipers of the KSK received likewise as first forces of the German Federal Armed Forces the G22 (Accuracy internationally AWM-F), the first actually adequate sniper weapon for distances over 750 M., introduced with the German Federal Armed Forces. Also the new,large-caliber sniper weapons G24 and G82 in the largest infantry weapon caliber of 12,7x99mm, how it is normally fired by heavy machine guns (for example US M2HB) and used for hand weapons against material and on extra large distance, might if necessarily for the first time with the KSK in the employment-referredUse to see its.

As addition of hostage release still the G25 was introduced. It has the same caliber as the G22, however the run is to be installed shortened over onto it a muffler in length of the original run of the G22. Overan optimal Schlldämmung to reaching must be used subsonic ammunition, what the employment range of the G25 on approx. 400 m limits.

With of the Einfühung of the new employment vehicle Serval, also admits under clearing-up and combat vehicle (AGF), became sMG to the US troop alsothe well-known open Browningverschluss in the caliber, garnet machine gun (GMW) with caliber of 40x46mm developed 12,7x99mm and that, likewise of Heckler & cook introduced. sMG shot the GMW with belts can be shot to ever 36 shot with belts to ever 100.Both weapons are intended only for the employment on a vehicle. The weight of a GMW without tripod and ammunition amounts to approx. 75 kg.

Training at foreign weapons takes place likewise. Copies of various foreign weapons, as it spreads in crisis areas of the worldare, are likewise in the weapon chamber in Calw.

the former, so-called Bravo companies (B1) of the three air landing brigades (25 apply for history as in former times forerunners of the KSK within the German Federal Armed Forces. , 26. and 31.). These special paratrooper companies became beginning that1990er years set up and should and. A. to accomplish in the situation its hostage releases. Beyond that their soldiers received also a basic training in the command fight. In the course of Umstruktierungen the B1-Kommandokompanien was dissolved 1996. Many of these outstanding trained soldiers were in thatEstablishment phase of the KSK involved in its structure considerably and are today still as „old men “in the business. Most command soldiers in the KSK come out „become green to “uses such as paratroopers, mountain hunters, hunters or remote scouts. There are however quite also isolated „Exoten “from the German Federal Armed Forces generally.

The official list of the KSK took place to 20. September 1996 in Calw from the air landing brigade 25 Black Forest and became the 4. Division that command airmobile forces (KLK) troop-officially subordinates. At this time there were already firstoperational structures within the KSK, particularly within the range saving and releasing. For military-infrastructural reasons the location Calw can be called wrong decision. Further the assumption of the organization and personnel structures of the air landing brigade 25 as obstacle straight in that worked itselfInitial phase out. Critics mark that the representation at that time of the future tasks of this new unit in relation to a broader public, and thus not last also their political authentication, particularly with the referring to a subtask of the KSK, „German citizens inForeign country from the catches took place from terrorists “to release; the actual range of their tasks - „switching off control centers and important telecommunications equipment in the depth of the opposing area as well as winning strategically and operationally important messages “, „the defense of threat of terror “,„the fight against subversive forces “and „covers operations “- thereby not in full measure publicly one discussed.

In April 1997 the KSK was operational and demonstrated during the army exercise of fast eagles 97 of the 1. to 10. September1997 on the troop exercise area Baumholder and the air base Mendig the serviceability before the eyes of the public. Altogether 1,600 soldiers with 20 helicopters, 11 transport aircrafts and nearly 500 vehicles at the maneuver under the line of the Kommandeuers of the KLK took, major general Peoples Löw part. The maneuver planned the release from hostages from terrorist hand abroad (acceptance 1,200 km distance, user country Baumholder) and evacuation of German citizens. Federal Minister of Defense Volker peace saw the maneuver in Mendig.

employments of the KSK

To 15. June 1998 soldiers of the KSK and French SFOR arrest - units the Bosnian Serbs and war criminal Milorad Krnojelac in Foča (Bosnia and Herzegowina). Krnojelac still became on the same day to the international criminal court into the Haguetransferred. This was the first employment of this special unit of the German Federal Armed Forces.

In the context of the operation Enduring Freedom were continuous from December 2001 until October 2003 up to 100 KSK soldiers in Afghanistan in use. The tasks existed in the production of key information.The magazine star published an article over alleged employments and bad states in the KSK in July 2005. The Ministry of Defense (BMVg) did not take position to the statements, with the reference on the fact made there, that one in principle no data to operations and internalMake for procedures in special forces of the German Federal Armed Forces.

Such press releases it is to be taken that already several (the speech is from up to 12) members of the KSK found death during the employment in Afghanistan. This article led already to criminal offence-relevant determinations.

Since May 2005 according to the weekly newspaper of the mirrors again KSK soldiers were sent to Afghanistan. They noticed there different tasks and helped at different places a safe surrounding field to create. More exact details to the employments are not well-known. Different medium reportsafter the soldiers are already again in Germany.

future of the KSK

it will be tried in the next years to bundle forces and means to spend over special forces strategically/operationally and tactically and with modern means of communication world-wide guidancableto equip. The armed service-spreading beginning gets an intensified meaning. Contrary to the navy however the Air Force has still no military organization forms constructed, which fall into the definition of special forces, it gives here at present only rudimentary elements within the range specialized forces.

To what extent structuresinternal and outside security synergies to develop, is a political decision may. This is employment tactical hardly disputed, there none of the German special-purpose forces (federal police, military, parts of the intelligence services ) for itself in the situation would be alone taken probably, oneto control more complex situation of terror. In Germany, like in most democracies of this world, however smearing of the demarcation of police and armed forces, threatening thereby, prevented such efforts likewise like a direct lecture right with the political guidance.

Work on []

Commanders of the KSK

Name beginning of the appointment end of the appointment
BrigGen Rainer Hartbrod 2005
BrigGen Carl Hubertus of Butler 2003 2005
BrigGen pure hard Günzel 2000 2003
BrigGen Hans Heinrich Dieter 1998 2000
BrigGen Fred Schulz 1996 1998


  • Pure hard Scholzen: KSK - The command of special forces of the German Federal Armed Forces, ISBN 3613023849

see also

Web on the left of


  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)