Kommando Spezialkraefte (KSK) – German commandos

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Since the nineties the German Bundeswehr with their units actively involved in peacekeeping operations abroad. The hardest task in those missions entrusted to members Kommando Spezialkraefte, short KSK.

Despite all the difficulties that Germany had to rebuild its armed forces after WWII. World War I, despite all the problems that were present at that time, the Bundeswehr has managed to establish its formal Parachute component only 1956th year. Parachute Division was formed of two parachute brigades: 25 Brigade (Swartzwaldbrigade) and 26Brigade (Saarlandbrigade). Early in 1970. The airborne division has been strengthened by adding to its lineup of another, 27 Parachute Brigade. Thus reinforced divisions joined a little later at 31 Infantry Brigade, was reorganized under a new name: 31 Parachute Brigade and its members get red berets, the universal emblem parachute troops.German parachute troops were the source from which they drew the personnel required for the establishment of a special military unit called a commando Kommando Spezialkrafte, far better known by its abbreviation KSK.

Occurrence of KSK and its mission

Unification of the two German states has grown rapidly influence beyond Germany’s borders, and is thereby increased the need for the creation of German military units of this type. Wishes German military experts have been moving in the direction of establishing the Special forces capable of rapid response to incidents and crisis situations in which they were involved German citizens, who could possibly happen on German territory, and in the end to protect the German national interests around the world. The unit should also be capable of operating under conditions and circumstances for which the regular German military forces were not trained such as fighting in the jungle or in the desert environment. KSK was established precisely to address these and such tactical requirements.

According to some reports, a key factor that led the German Bundeshwer and political leadership in the establishment of unit KSK is an unpleasant experience in 1994. years during the civil war in Rwanda. During the armed conflict in Rwanda, Belgian and French special forces and paratroopers had to save between westerners and 11 other German citizens in the German army because it was not appropriate and is currently available forces for such purposes.
When establishing the first commander of KSK said as the need to enter mature, secure and reliable soldiers in this unit. Despite the tactical and operational capabilities to resolve hostage situations, KSK is primarily military unit with military missions – not like the GSG-9 counter-terrorism division. KSK also encompasses the so-called. “Hostage Rescue Team” (hostage-rescue team) capable of solving diverse and complex tasks of this kind. Long been known GSG-9, or Grenzschutzgruppe 9 and the state police are the ones who are almost daily on the frontline in the fight against domestic and international crime, but also the growing terrorism. GSG-9 is formed 1972nd years after the tragic events at the Olympics in Munich, and falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Border Guard which is forbidden by law from carrying out military operations abroad and the state police is authorized only for regular policing within the legislative authority. According to some data, GSG-9 has about 250 members, divided into three groups. In 1300 so far confirmed action (many are still under a veil of secrecy) German sources claim that in only four cases have been used include firearms – two confirmed cases of the interventions in Mogadishu 1977th conflict with two other members of the RAF 1994th year.)

KSK operates under the control of the German crisis department and conducts actions similar to those taken by the U.S. Special Forces or British SAS. These actions include:
defense of NATO territory of Germany or
action during the deterioration and escalation of crisis situations
Operations in the creation / maintenance of peace operations
strategic reconnaissance of the territory
deep penetration and activity in the depths of enemy territory
The hostage-rescue operations
Despite KSK tasks include operations against high-value targets, such as the communication, lines of electronic communications, the enemy headquarters and in-depth strategic intelligence, special emphasis is given to ensure the safety of German citizens in war or conflict zones, evacuation of German civilians, rescuing hostages, and rescue of downed pilots.

As the beginning of the creation of the unit was first taken April 1996. when the staff from three air-landing company was combined with two Reconnaissance company for deep reconnaissance composition of the German Army (Third Reconnaissance company was then disbanded). These Five Companies under the new joint command of the newly formed unit: KSK Kommando Spezialkraefte. In the fall of 1996. The approximately 20 soldiers-commandos, successfully completed the first cycle of training, and the unit became fully operational in April 1997. year (after one year).

Organization and structure

First Company had limited operational capability. In early 1999. The one small squad of special forces were sent to Kosovo to ensure the protection of high-ranking German officers. At the time the troops declared its full operation, has reached the set of numbers is 1000 members, fully trained and ready to carry out the tasks. Kommando Spezialkraefte has the following organization:

  • Command & Company of connections – commanding lead, 3 water connection, cable connection for deep reconnaissance (all trained in SATCOM, HF, LOS communications)
  • Command / company for deep reconnaissance – Command, Command Line for deep reconnaissance platoon for deep reconnaissance.
  • Each company of commandos comprised of:
  • of command line
  • 4 Water commandos – each specializing in different activities:
  • First for ground inflitraciju,
  • Second The airport infritraciju (HALO skills)
  • 3rd for amphibious operations and
  • 4th for operations in mountainous and snow-covered surroundings.
  • companies to support

Each line consists of 4 teams each of which is composed of four commando. Each of the four members who make the team, specialized in one of the following areas: relationship, explosives, first aid, operations and intelligence work. One of the four members of the team leader. One of the four water in the composition of each company is trained to perform a hostage – rescue operations, and some of the members of the water are especially trained in techniques of rapid and safe driving.

Mobile company to support it contains a logistics platoon, a platoon of parachute equipment repairs, medical platoon, squad for repairs and maintenance for practice-squad.

Complete training the troops belonging to the Kommando Spezialkraefte their full readiness for approximately three years and includes inter alia training parachute HALO / HAHO (high-low alitude open and high-high alitude open) jumps and scuba diving training.

Selection of candidates for KSK

The selection process and training of new commando base candidate last for about three months and it is a modified version by the British SAS and the U.S. Army Special Force used in the selection and training of its members. Before newcomers candidate KSK gets on base course must meet several general and special requirements:

  • Officers must not have more than 30 years, and non-commissioned more than 32 years of life.
  • Candidates can be from any part of the Army
  • Candidates must have a basic parachute training
  • Candidates must be prepared for voluntary service for a minimum of 6 years in the forces Kommando Spezialkraefte
  • all the officers and most of the senior NCOs (nadnarednici, Staff Sergeants and Officers governors) must have a 1-A Einzelkaempferlehrganag combat course.
  • Selection process in Calw, in the center Kommando Spezialkraefte to select candidates Swartzvaldu includes:
  • First One day of psychological testing (computer test)
  • Second One Week Selection
  • 3rd Two days of testing basic physical abilities
  • one minute: the maximum possible number of pull-ups
  • one minute maximum lifting fuselage,
  • 3 x per ten meter sprint
  • jump-off point,
  • 12 minutes of running.
  • 4th Swimming freestyle: 500 meters – less than 15 minutes
  • 5th Crossing the barriers of standard German infantry for a maximum of 1:40 minutes.
  • 6th Running at 7 kilometers in field conditions with a backpack of 20 kg for 52:00 minutes.
  • 7th Additional laboratory tests (3 days)
  • Having successfully completed basic filtering of candidates and selection course, new candidates are instructed to attend more diverse and specialized courses.

The basic Commando Course I

During this initial commando course, so called. jednotjedani SERE course under extreme conditions involving the March was a length of 100 km, which must be graduate in four days, with a heavy load and unexpected situations that candidates must successfully resolved such as crossing the river, swimming and diving with a weapon, a day – and nighttime navigation sudden ambush. During this initial course conducted further psychological observation of candidates and their behavior under stress and reactions to it.

The basic Commando Course II

This part of the basic course consists of three weeks of combat survival and is carried out in an international school for military reconnaissance deep in the German Pfullendorf. All specialized courses and training candidates must be successfully completed before candidates are admitted to the Kommando Spezialkraefte and included in one of the operating teams. In the end, some of them attending training techniques knowledge fast and safe ride on all surfaces (asphalt, ice, mud, gravel).

With Kommando Spezialkraefte as military units, Germany got the possibility of participation in NATO exercises in the performance of cross-border interventions where the units as GSG-9 can not (legally) to act (which was not the case in the famous rescue hostages from Lufthanzinog Boeing 737 aircraft in the air mogadiškoj port in October 1977.) and which also may (if necessary) to be used for the protection and projection of German interests worldwide.

Weaponry and Equipment

To implement various tasks Spezialkraefte Kommando members must be trained and prepared for the use of a wide variety of weapons and equipment. The unit uses a standard camouflage uniforms of the German Army, black nomex coveralls and helmets of Kevlar type “Fritz.” Komando equipment consists among other things of a modified helmet that incorporates a communications system 52/SL SEM. Commandos from the composition Kommando Spezialkraefte are trained in the application of a broad arsenal of German military weapon, but also a large number of weapons which are ordered specifically for them. In the arsenal includes:

  • HK assault rifle 36 GE 5.56 mm (in both versions as well as SAW carbine version with a tactical light and laser pointer)
  • P8 pistol 9 mm
  • submachine guns HK MP 5 – S DE3 9 mm
  • G8 HK assault rifle
  • Shotgun HK 512
  • Sniper with German optics G 22
  • spear gun HK PII
  • HK21 machine gun 5.56 mm;
  • HK 23 machine gun 7.62 mm
  • Mg3 7.62 mm machine gun
  • Pauzerfaust 3 – handheld rocket launcher
  • Milan – surface.

Vehicles used by the Kommando Spezialkraefte include two-tone type Unimog trucks and off-road type cars Mercedes G-230 WA. During helicopter operations Kommando Spezialkraefte is mainly used helicopters Bell-220 and Sikorsky CH – 53 of the composition of the German Luftwaffe.

Since 1993. The German Bundeswehr is with his troops actively involved in peacekeeping operations in Kosovo. And there they were members of the Kommando Spezialkraefte.
It is known that more than 100 members of the Kommando Spezialkraefte sent to Afghanistan (though by writing the German Der Spiegel there is even 250-400 German commandos), where as part of international forces in the fight against terrorism, participating in combat operations and are included in operations search for al-Qaida.