Foreign missions of the Bundeswehr

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Foreign deployments of the Bundeswehr are in the broader sense all deployments of the Bundeswehr outside Germany. In a narrower sense, operations mandated by the Bundestag are to be understood in accordance with the criteria that the Federal Constitutional Court laid down in a judgment on July 12, 1994 and which were reflected in the Parliamentary Participation Act in 2005 .


First missions

In November 1959, the Bundeswehr had its first deployment abroad. Air Force planes flew medicines into the Moroccan city ​​of Meknes . A few months later there was the first major operation after the devastating earthquake in Agadir in 1960 . In addition to these two missions in 1959/1960, there were 133 other humanitarian aid missions of this kind up to 1991.

Debate and expansion of the stakes

Since 1990 the Bundeswehr has been deployed for "peacekeeping" and "peacekeeping" measures ( peacebuilding and peacekeeping ) outside the Federal Republic of Germany. Immediately after German reunification in 1990, a heated debate began about the use of the Bundeswehr outside the NATO treaty area ( out-of-area debate ). While the governing parties CDU and FDP , turning away from the “ Kohl Doctrine ” , spoke out in favor of such operations (within the framework of UN mandates ), the SPD and the Greens were initially against it. With the so-called Petersberger Wende in 1992, the SPD changed its position. When the Red-Green Federal Government took office in 1998, the Greens also supported such operations.

The first such missions were from August 16, 1990 to September 13, 1991, the operation of the southern flank of anti-mine forces of the Navy during and after the Second Gulf War in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf and from January 30, 1991 to March 17, 1991 the use of the anti-aircraft missile squadron 2 in Diyarbakır , Turkey, as part of Operation Desert Storm . In 1993 a field hospital was dispatched to Phnom Penh as part of the United Nations Advance Mission in Cambodia UNAMIC as a UN mission .

This was followed by operations in the Adriatic ( Operation Sharp Guard 1992–1996) and in the Balkans as part of the IFOR and SFOR operations .

The United Nations Operation in Somalia II in Somalia from March 1993 to March 1995 was supported by Germany through the German Support Association Somalia from March 1993 to March 1994 in Beledweyne .

The constitutional admissibility of deployments in accordance with Article 24, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law (ie within NATO or UN mandates) was clarified by the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court in 1994. In addition, this ruling contains the basis for the parliamentary approval for the deployment of armed German armed forces abroad. It is controversial in the literature whether this reservation was only made explicitly clear by the judgment or whether it was first introduced by the court in an extensive interpretation of the constitution.

In 1996, a Bundeswehr medal was awarded for the first time . Other medals are the NATO medal , the European Union mission medal and the UN medal .

Kosovo war and KFOR operation

Bundeswehr soldiers on the KFOR mission in Kosovo
Bundeswehr during KFOR 2001

In 1999 the Bundeswehr and the Luftwaffe took part in a constitutionally and internationally controversial war - the Kosovo War - for the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany as part of Operation Allied Force with around 500 missions . The international legal basis for the deployment was controversial in the specialist discussion. For the most part, the politicians responsible described the intervention as “ humanitarian intervention ” and viewed it as justified in this respect. The legitimation of the participation was based in particular on information from the secret service , which was not considered to be fully verified when the war broke out.

The participation of German armed forces in the operation could be regarded as constitutionally permissible if the justification construct was accepted, because there was no war of aggression within the meaning of Art. 26 GG and the participation took place within the framework of a system of mutual and collective security, as stated in Art. 24 para 2 GG demands. If the justification for the “humanitarian intervention” is not shared, the NATO intervention would represent a war of aggression under international law, which would make the participation of the Federal Republic constitutionally inadmissible.

This mission was followed by participation in the KFOR mission to protect the population and the aid organizations working in the country. The use of the international security presence KFOR was based on Resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council from the start.

After September 11, 2001

Since 2001, the Bundeswehr has been deployed under the leadership of the operational command also within the framework of the anti-terror coalition . The use was heavily debated in advance in the red-green dominated Bundestag . A unified position on this was ultimately brought about by the fact that Chancellor Gerhard Schröder asked the question of confidence and he was given 336 votes out of 334 required and 326 votes against.

A marine contingent, based on Djibouti , monitored the sea area in the Horn of Africa ; In addition, the German Navy is involved in relevant NATO operations in the Mediterranean. The Bundeswehr was active in Afghanistan as part of ISAF (see also: German participation in the war in Afghanistan ). In Iraq also Bundeswehr soldiers are used according to the official presentation, they also form in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, the new Iraqi security forces from police and militia forces.

List of foreign assignments

Completed missions

So far the highest number of soldiers deployed abroad : 10,024 (June 2002)

The Bundeswehr has participated in more than 130 humanitarian aid operations since 1959.

SFOR Bundeswehr soldiers in Pale in Bosnia, Operation Joint Forge in January 2004
German Army soldier during IFOR 1995
  • 1995–1996: Operation “Joint Endeavor” under NATO leadership: IFOR (Implementation Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina), replaced by SFOR
  • 1996–2004: Under NATO leadership, Operation “Joint Guard” and “ Joint Forge ”: SFOR (Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina), 1,700 Germans, replaced by EUFOR Operation Althea
  • 1997: Operation Libelle , evacuation of civilians from Albania using SFOR units.
  • 1999: under NATO leadership " Operation Allied Force ": Participation in air strikes in the war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ( Kosovo war , Belgrade )
  • April 13 - August 8, 1999: Albania Force (AFOR)
  • 1999–2000: - Transport flights and medical care as part of the UN INTERFET mission for East Timor .
  • 2001: Operation "Essential Harvest" in Macedonia, disarmament of Albanian extremists, 600 German soldiers.
  • 2001–2016: under NATO leadership: Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean to protect maritime traffic against terrorist threats. The Bundeswehr was involved with frigates, speedboats and submarines . At the NATO summit in Warsaw in 2016, the NATO member states decided to replace the “Operation Active Endeavor (OAE)” mission in the Mediterranean with the “Sea Guardian”.
  • 2002–2010: Naval presence in the Horn of Africa as Task Group German (CTG) as part of Operation Enduring Freedom: (participation fluctuates: initially around 1,400 soldiers, lastly 60 soldiers). The German contingent initially consisted of five speed boats, a tender, a supplier and a fuel supplier, after the first change of contingent either frigates (at times also fleet service boats and suppliers) or one or two P-3C Orion maritime patrols . There was also a small logistics base in Djibouti - the German Liaison and Support Group (DVUG), which supported both the OEF and Atalanta contingents; Until 2005 this unit was called the Marine Logistics Base in the Operational Area (MLBE). The mission ended on June 28, 2010. The MBLE stayed in Djibouti to further support the Atalanta operation.
  • 2003: Operation “Concordia” in Macedonia, securing EU and OSCE observers
  • 2003: Operation "Artemis" , supply of troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from Uganda.
  • January - March 2005: Humanitarian aid in Indonesia - deployment of medical personnel, MedEvac aircraft and the task force provider " Berlin " after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake in the Aceh region (approx. 385 soldiers).
  • July 31, 2006 to November 30, 2006: Federal Armed Forces deployment in the Congo 2006 - deployment of up to 780 soldiers, including 500 emergency and 280 support forces, to the capital Kinshasa and the surrounding area to protect the parliamentary elections. The reserve in Gabon forms the major part .
  • December 2004 to December 2007: AMIS (African Union Mission in Sudan) - Provision of air transport capacities for the deployment of peacekeeping forces from the African Union to the Sudanese crisis region of Darfur . On December 31, 2007, this operation became Operation UNAMID .
  • 2000 – August 2008: UN observer mission UNMEE in Ethiopia and Eritrea to monitor the ceasefire agreement in Algiers , two German military observers.
  • 1994 – September 2009: UN observer mission in Georgia to monitor the ceasefire in Abkhazia within the framework of UNOMIG , the Bundeswehr provided three unarmed military observers and up to ten medical soldiers who also had military observer status. On October 8, 2001, Chief Medical Officer Dieter Eißing was the first soldier of the Bundeswehr to die in a combat operation by shooting down a helicopter with military observers.
  • 2006–2009 mine clearance in Cambodia (without a mandate from the Bundestag), up to 54 soldiers.
Boarding team of the frigate Augsburg in action during Operation Enduring Freedom May 2004
  • 2002–2010 under US leadership: Operation Enduring Freedom as part of the fight against terrorism with at times up to 4,900 German soldiers. The mandate of the German Bundestag defined the Arabian Peninsula, Central and Central Asia and Northeast Africa as well as the adjacent sea areas as the Bundeswehr's operational area outside Germany . The participation of Germany abroad consists of
    • 2001–2002: Provision of air transport capacity (more than 500 people and almost 600 tons of material wereflownfrom Ramstein to Istanbul in over 130 missions with the Transall C-160 according to the specifications of the US armed forces );
    • 2002–2003: deployment of NBC defense forces in Kuwait (three deployment contingents);
    • 2002–2005: Use of special forces in Afghanistan;
    • 2002–2010: Naval presence in the Horn of Africa.
  • 2005–2011: UNMIS (United Nations Mission in Sudan) - deployment of up to 75 unarmed military observers to the south and east of Sudan to monitor the peace agreement.
  • February 2011: The Operation Pegasus during the uprisings in Libya for the evacuation of civilians from Libya.
  • December 2004 to September 27, 2012: under EU leadership: EUFOR Operation Althea (European Union Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina). Last two German soldiers. With the previous IFOR and SFOR missions, the Bundeswehr's longest deployment abroad to date (17 years).
Soldiers with wheeled vehicle Dingo in Afghanistan (2009)
  • January 2002 to December 31, 2014 ISAF mission in Afghanistan for peacekeeping under GBR (ISAF 1), TUR (ISAF 2) and DEU / NLD command (ISAF 3). Under NATO leadership since ISAF 4 in 2003. Since April 5, 2007 six were also at the request of NATO reconnaissance aircraft of the Air Force stationed in Afghanistan. By resolution of the Bundestag on October 13, 2007, the use of aircraft was combined with the ISAF contingent. As of January 26, 2012, the mandate ceiling was 4,900 German soldiers.
  • April 2014 to April 30, 2015 Participation in the protection of the US special ship Cape Ray in the Eastern Mediterranean , on board whose Syrian chemical weapons were destroyed. A frigate and up to 300 soldiers were used for this task.
  • December 2012 to January 31, 2016 Operation Active Fence in defense of NATO ally Turkey. In December 2012, the Bundestag gave the Bundeswehr a mandate that allowed the Bundeswehr to send up to 400 soldiers to Turkey. Two squadrons of the Patriot air defense system and soldiers were deployed in AWACS reconnaissance aircraft . Turkey had sought support from its allies due to various incidents and attacks on Turkish soil during the Syrian civil war . The mandate of the Bundestag was valid until January 31, 2016, but operational use was terminated on October 15, 2015.
  • 15 August 2012 to 31 December 2018 Operation EUCAP Somalia to combat piracy off the Somali coast.
  • April 2010 to March 2018 EUTM Somalia (EU Training Mission Somalia). The EU supported the African Union mission with up to 20 soldiers by training its own security forces in Uganda.
  • 2015 to 2018 training support for the Bundeswehr in Iraq . Instructor and advisor to the Peshmerga in the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan in the context of the fight against the Islamic State

Ongoing missions

Soldiers deployed abroad: approx. 3,350 (as of November 23, 2019)

Overview of mandated missions including voting behavior of the parliamentary groups
mission Beginning management Basis of international law Mandate upper limit Soldiers in action Last mandate End of mandate description
KFOR (Kosovo Force) 1999 NATO u. a. UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) 400 65 06/17/2020 unlimited
UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) 2006 U.N. u. a. UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006) 300 121 06/17/2020 06/30/2021 Maritime surveillance off the coast of Lebanon with frigates, speedboats and auxiliary ships under German leadership initially. The leadership changed to Italy in February 2008. Including land components to supply and support the Lebanese forces, around 1,400 soldiers were initially deployed.
EU NAFVOR Somalia Operation Atalanta 2008 EU u. a. UN Security Council Resolution 1814 (2008) 400 75 05/27/2020 05/31/2020 With ships and at times maritime patrols to protect humanitarian aid deliveries to Somalia, commercial shipping in the Gulf of Aden and the fight against all piracy.
UNAMID 2008 U.N. u. a. UN Security Council Resolution 1769 (2007) 50 3 03/12/2020 March 31, 2021 Air transport to the operational area and relocation in the event of an increase, reinforcement and implementation of UNAMID, performance of leadership, liaison, advisory and support tasks, help with technical equipment and training of troop-contributing nations.
UNMISS 2011 50 15th 03/12/2020 March 31, 2021 Support in the construction of the new state Republic of South Sudan
MINUSMA 01/17/2013 U.N. u. a. UN Security Council Resolution 2100 (2013) 1100 892 05/29/2020 05/31/2020 Logistical support for the operation serval and MINUSMA with two transport aircraft C-160 Transall of Air Transport Wing 61 in Mali to support French forces for air transport.
EUTM Mali 2013 EU u. a. "Based on the request of the government of Mali to the EU" 350 156 05/29/2020 05/31/2020 Training mission in Mali, West Africa ( Koulikoro )
MINURSO 10/16/2013 U.N. 20th 3 10/16/2013 unlimited UN mission in Western Sahara
Resolute support 01/01/2015 U.N. 1300 1298 March 13, 2020 March 31, 2021 Training mission in Afghanistan
Operation Sea Guardian 09/29/2016 NATO 650 201 March 13, 2020 March 31, 2021 Operation for maritime security, tasks range from maritime surveillance to training support
Anti-IS mission (Counter Daesh) 2015 700 479 March 25, 2020 March 31, 2020 (CD) / October 31, 2020 (Iraq) Fight against IS in Syria and capability support in Iraq

Other missions:

  • Since June 2005 regular contingents as part of Air Policing Baltic States with around 100 soldiers and four fighter planes each (initially McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom II, now Eurofighter Typhoon) for airspace security over the Baltic States.
  • Since June 2010: irregular contingents as part of Air Policing Island with around 100 soldiers and four Eurofighter Typhoon fighters each to secure the airspace over Iceland .
  • Since April 2015 refugee rescue in the Mediterranean. Humanitarian aid without a mandate. Two major naval units (frigates and supply ships).
  • Since January 2017 establishment of the NATO Battlegroup Lithuania with the participation of Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway a. a. under the leadership of the Bundeswehr. Ultimately 1,200 men, 450 of them Bundeswehr soldiers. The mission is used for security and deterrence on NATO's eastern flank as part of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).
  • Since 2020 EUNAVFOR MED IRINI , EU mission in the Mediterranean to enforce the arms embargo on Libya.

Fallen and injured soldiers

The Bundeswehr Memorial in Berlin.

Between 1992 and June 2013, a total of 103 German soldiers were killed on missions abroad. To the fallen of these missions to commemorate exist in the countries of cenotaphs of the Bundeswehr . In addition, a central Bundeswehr memorial was erected in Berlin to commemorate the more than 3,100 members of the Bundeswehr who lost their lives while on duty (including in Germany).

In 1993 a German soldier was shot dead in Cambodia. In 1997 two German soldiers lost their lives in Bosnia-Herzegovina in an accident. When a helicopter was shot down, a German soldier and other passengers died in Georgia. In another helicopter crash in 2002, seven Bundeswehr soldiers lost their lives. In the same year two soldiers died in a bomb disposal. Another soldier died in a mine explosion a year later in Afghanistan. Four more lost their lives a few days later in a suicide attack in Kabul. In 2005, two German soldiers died in an accident in Afghanistan and another in a suicide attack. Three Bundeswehr soldiers died in a suicide attack two years later in 2007, also in Afghanistan. When a Spanish helicopter crashed southeast of Banja Luka ( Republika Srpska ) on June 19, 2008, two German soldiers were killed in an accident. One soldier was killed in an IED attack southwest of Kunduz on August 27, 2008, and two soldiers and five children were killed and two soldiers and one child were seriously injured in a suicide attack near Kunduz on October 20, 2008. A 21-year-old soldier was killed in a traffic accident near the Feyzabad camp on March 14, 2009. On April 29, 2009, a German soldier was killed in an attack on a convoy near Kunduz. Furthermore, three other German soldiers died in Afghanistan on June 23, 2009 when their armored personnel carrier Fuchs came off the road while reversing and rolled over.

Soldiers injured on missions abroad , but also their surviving dependents, are entitled to state benefits under the Soldiers Supply Act and the Deployment Supply Act . According to the Deployment Re-Use Act , they are also entitled to a period of protection during which they may neither be transferred nor dismissed from the Bundeswehr and, in the event of serious injury, the right to continued employment with the Bundeswehr or in the public service. For the private protection of soldiers on duty, insurance companies usually have special contractual conditions, such as the so-called war clause. In addition, there is an increasing number of organizations supported by private initiative.

For the air transport of injured soldiers ( MedEvac ), for example to the Bundeswehr Central Hospital in Koblenz , the Bundeswehr can, for example, use a Transall stationed permanently at Camp Marmal near Mazār-i Scharif for the Afghanistan mission, or an Airbus stationed at Cologne / Bonn Airport. In Afghanistan itself there is a deployment hospital, completed in 2007, as an emergency treatment facility in Camp Marmal, in Bosnia and Herzegovina there is also one in the Rajlovac camp .

In addition to physical injuries, post- traumatic stress disorder in soldiers after deployments abroad has already been a topic of concern to the public and the Bundestag in many cases.

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b BVerfG, judgment of July 12, 1994, Az. 2 BvE 3/92, 5/93, 7/93, 8/93, BVerfGE 90, 286 - Out-of-area deployments.
  2. Patrick Merziger: Out of Area: Humanitarian Aid of the Bundeswehr Abroad (1959–1991). Contemporary research, January 1, 2018, accessed on July 10, 2020 .
  3. Bernhard T. - Military pastor in Afghanistan ( Memento from September 13, 2013 in the web archive )
  4. Brochure Badges of Honor and Mission Medals of the Bundeswehr ( Memento from June 30, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), status 01/2011; 4.3 Mbytes ; 60 pages. Published by: Federal Ministry of Defense , page 24.
  5. The Bundeswehr's stays abroad without a mandate from the German Bundestag. (PDF 579 kB) Printed matter 16/13861. In: German Bundestag, July 31, 2009, accessed on June 6, 2010 (see for Cambodia also = abbreviation KHM).
  6. Help with the destruction of chemical weapons., accessed on July 28, 2014 .
  7. Press release BMVg , accessed on June 13, 2015
  8. Bundestag sends up to 400 soldiers to Turkey., accessed on December 14, 2012 .
  9. ^ Turkey - AF TUR (Active Fence Turkey). In: www. January 5, 2016, accessed February 4, 2016 .
  10. Mission numbers - The strength of the German mission contingents. Federal Ministry of Defense, March 1, 2019, accessed on March 3, 2019 .
  11. Retrieved March 2, 2019 .
  12. Retrieved March 2, 2019 .
  13. Retrieved March 2, 2019 .
  14. Retrieved March 2, 2019 .
  15. Bundestag approves KFOR mandate for another year. Retrieved June 18, 2020 .
  16. UNIFIL mission will be continued. Retrieved June 18, 2020 .
  17. Bundestag extends EU NAVFOR Somalia - Operation Atalanta. Retrieved June 18, 2020 .
  18. a b UNAMID and UNMISS: Bundestag extends operations in Sudan. Retrieved June 18, 2020 .
  19. a b Bundestag extends mandates for Mali. Retrieved June 18, 2020 .
  20. a b Bundestag extends mandates for Resolute Support and Sea Guardian. Retrieved June 18, 2020 .
  21. Anti-IS operation: Bundestag decides to add. Retrieved June 18, 2020 .
  22. Air Force takes over NATO airspace surveillance over the Baltic states again - Eurofighter is deployed abroad for the first time. In: Luftwaffe, September 1, 2009, accessed June 1, 2010 .
  23. Protection of Icelandic Airspace 2.0., accessed on July 28, 2014 .
  24. Press release BMVg ( Memento of September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on June 13, 2015
  25. ^ Official report ,, accessed on March 26th
  26. Official announcement ,, accessed on March 26, 2016
  27. ^ NATO Battlegroup in Lithuania - German advance command arrived with a delay
  28. ^ Markus Feldenkirchen, Matthias Gebauer and Shoib Najafizada: German soldier killed in Afghanistan. Der Spiegel, April 30, 2009, accessed June 1, 2010 .
  29. See Loretana de Libero, Death in Action. German soldiers in Afghanistan, Potsdam 2014, see also deaths during Bundeswehr missions abroad # Individual cases
  30. Afghanistan: Gun battle near Kunduz. In: BMVg Press and Information Office, July 9, 2009, accessed on June 1, 2010 .
  31. Reinhold Robbe: Briefing by the Armed Forces Commissioner Annual Report 2009. (PDF; 2.9 MB) 51st report. In: German Bundestag, March 2010, pp. 62f , accessed on June 1, 2010 .