Federal Army

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Flag of Austria (state) .svg Austrian Armed Forces Federal
Roundel of Austria.svg
Commander in Chief
de jure :
Federal President
Alexander Van der Bellen
Commander in chief de facto : Federal Minister for National Defense
Defense Minister: Klaudia Tanner
Military Commander: Chief of the General Staff General Robert Brieger
Military leadership: Federal Ministry for National Defense
Headquarters: Bernardis Schmid barracks , Vienna
Military strength
Active soldiers: 14,000 professional soldiers and military service
25,000 members of the militia (2020)
Reservists: 945,000 reserve
Conscription: 6 months for all male citizens
Resilient population: ~ 1,000,000
Eligibility for military service: 17th-50th Age
up to 65 years for officers
Share of soldiers in the total population: ~ 0.63%
Military budget: 2.28 billion euros (2019)
Share of gross domestic product : 0.60% (2018)
Founding: 1920 and 1955

The Federal Army is the military of the Republic of Austria . According to Art. 79 Para. 1 of the Federal Constitutional Law, it is responsible for national military defense and it is to be set up according to the principles of a militia system. The armed forces have around 14,000 soldiers in attendance , consisting of professional soldiers and basic military servants, and around 25,000 militia soldiers . There are also around 8,000 civil servants. The equipment includes around 8,000 vehicles and 150 aircraft. As a landlocked country , Austria has no naval forces .

The federal president is in charge of the supreme command of the armed forces , the order of disposition is the responsibility of the federal minister responsible. The current Federal Minister for National Defense is Klaudia Tanner . General Robert Brieger is chief of the general staff .

The Federal Army of the First Republic existed from 1920 to 1938. His deployment in the civil war in 1934 , ordered by the Dollfuss government , led to decades of distance between the Social Democrats as the ruling party in the Second Republic and the federal army that was re-established in 1955.

Since 1955, the army has carried out several military missions to directly protect the borders ( Hungary 1956 , Czechoslovakia 1968, Yugoslavia 1991). Since 1960, the army of foreign missions under is a UN mandate involved since 1995 participant in the Partnership for Peace of NATO .

The armed forces reached their highest level in the space defense era in 1987 with 14 higher commanders, 7 brigade commanders, 34 regiments, 158 battalions and 943 units. In order to adapt the armed forces to the requirements of the coming years, the then federal minister, Günther Platter , set up a reform commission, whose report was handed over to the minister in mid-June 2004. The army reform was only partially implemented due to lack of funds.

The refugee crisis in Europe from 2015 , however, led to a rethink in politics, so that Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil was able to present the federal army reform 2016 , which should lead to a massive increase in cadre presence units and reorganize the armed forces' land forces.

History of the Federal Army


The Federal Army emerged from the Armed Power or Wehrmacht (the military of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy ). It consisted of the Common Army , the Austro-Hungarian Land Forces , the Imperial and Royal Landwehr and the Imperial and Royal Landwehr .

Federal Army 1920–1938

The Federal Army was the armed forces of the First Republic of Austria from 1920 to 1934 and then the Army of the Federal State of Austria until 1938 , also known unofficially as the corporate state . After the " Anschluss ", the armed forces were integrated into the Wehrmacht , where they strengthened the mountain troops in particular.

Prehistory 1945–1955

Army Office 1945

After the end of the National Socialist dictatorship , Austria initially had no military of its own because the country was occupied by Allied forces (see: Occupied Post-War Austria ). But was the government already on 27 April 1945 Renner in Renner even below the State Army Office under the leadership of the Social Democratic Undersecretary Lieutenant Colonel Franz Wintererstraße built. On the one hand, the Army Office was supposed to demobilize the German armed forces on Austrian territory, but on the other hand it was also supposed to make the first preparations for the establishment of the republic's own armed forces.

In the following months, the office, which had its seat in the former military casino on Vienna's Schwarzenbergplatz , was expanded accordingly. Winterer was promoted to major general by the Cabinet Council on September 19, 1945. In November he was elected to the first National Council of the Second Republic. On November 30th, however, the Allied Council ordered the dissolution of the Army Office. Thereupon the office had to be dissolved. Major General Winterer resigned from office on December 20, but remained a member of parliament until 1949. The agendas of the prisoner of war system were assigned to the Federal Ministry of the Interior .

State treaty and own defense

Since during the Cold War the lifting of the occupation by the Allies was only to be expected if the republic could defend itself, the government continued to make provisions for this case. Shortly after the end of the war, Austrian politicians hoped for the swift conclusion of the state treaty with the Allies. At the beginning of 1947 Federal Chancellor Leopold Figl therefore held talks with the last Austrian Chief of Staff before the " Anschluss ", Alfred Jansa , about the new federal army, which the ÖVP believed Jansa should lead, and had him develop a military concept.

The state treaty was not concluded until May 15, 1955, after a government delegation in Moscow had promised the country's neutrality in April . In the Federal Constitutional Law on Perpetual Neutrality of October 26, 1955, the promise made to the Soviet Union was kept and the independent military security of the country was determined.

The military and aviation provisions of the State Treaty provided for in Article 12 the prohibition to take officers who held the rank of colonel or higher in the German armed forces into the new federal army (so-called " supreme paragraph "). These provisions also contained numerous restrictions, particularly those relating to special weapons, most of which, however, were declared obsolete by the German government in the early 1990s, after the Soviet Union, which had been interested in these restrictions, had been dissolved. It should also be mentioned that 16 officers, to whom the provisions of the “ Supreme Paragraph” applied, were nevertheless taken over into the armed forces.

B-Gendarmerie 1952–1955

As the first armed force, the B-Gendarmerie was set up on August 1, 1952 , entrusted with former war officers as leadership and directly subordinated to the Federal Ministry of the Interior . The respective state gendarmerie commands were responsible for the administration. On October 28, 1953, a separate department for the B-Gendarmerie was created in the Ministry of the Interior, separating it from the civil federal gendarmerie. At the end of 1953 the B-Gendarmerie consisted of about 4,100 men. As a result, a total of ten gendarmerie schools, two driving units, a department D - a supply warehouse run jointly with the Americans - and a department K (K for courses ), which was to take over the training of future officers, as well as two telegraph schools were established by 1955 .

In 1954, the tasks of the B-Gendarmerie were not only officially named border protection and the fight against unrest, but also the use of natural disasters and tactical operations in the event of an alarm , which meant the actual war operation. After the conclusion of the state treaty on May 15, 1955, the existence of this organization made it possible to build up the new federal army relatively quickly. The last parade of the B-Gendarmerie as such took place on the day after the contract was signed in the form of a “liberation parade ” in the Ebelsberg district of Linz . On July 8, 1955, the Allied ban on military activity fell; the end of the B-Gendarmerie can be scheduled for July 27, 1955, the day the State Treaty came into force when it was renamed the Provisional Border Guard Department . 6000 former B-gendarmes formed the cadre for the newly formed armed forces.

From the re-establishment in 1955 to the space defense era from 1968

1956: Border security for the Hungarian uprising

In autumn 1956, on the occasion of the Hungarian popular uprising, the new army had to secure the Austrian eastern border with Hungary on behalf of the Federal Government , where fierce fighting raged from November 4th to 15th after the invasion of the Soviet Army .

By November 13th, a strength of 2,740 soldiers had been reached directly at the state border. The border security also brought the first successful deployment of the army news group, which later became the army news office . Despite the still inadequate equipment, the scouts managed to provide an exact picture of the situation from Hungary.

Order to shoot at the border

Foreign Minister Leopold Figl told the Soviet Union on October 26, 1956 that Austria had taken all measures to protect its neutrality and its territory. This included the order to the army to shoot armed soldiers crossing the border. The aim was to make it clear to the Hungarian troops supporting the revolution that the use of Austrian territory to defend the revolution would not be tolerated. The Soviet Union was to be signaled that, in the event of a military intervention in Hungary (which began on November 4th), it would not consider invading eastern Austria (in order to possibly pursue fleeing Hungarian troops). Border security was therefore the most important part of the military concept. From October 27, border crossings increased, whereupon a restricted zone was set up and marked with red-white-red flags.

Resistance to invasion

In the event of a Soviet invasion, the army formed three groups: Group I was tasked with waging a slow battle in the direction of Vienna and blowing up the Danube bridges. Group II should fight back to the Klagenfurt area and stay there. Group III had the task of sealing off Salzburg on the Enns (until 1955 the border of the Soviet occupation zone).


The Soviet Union claimed that Austria had brought arms to Hungary under the guise of relief supplies. Vienna is the “hearth” and Salzburg is the “center” of Hungarian emigration, and Austria has thereby violated its neutrality. Austrian journalists, namely members of the communist daily newspaper “ Volksstimme ”, were named as witnesses . This central organ of the Communist Party of Austria caused unrest among the population with its Soviet propaganda. The government had the paper confiscated; the Vienna public prosecutor's office brought charges of riot and high treason .

The Austrian measures at the border were respected by the Soviets. As a rule, Soviet troops never advanced closer than a kilometer to the Austrian border strip. However, there were erroneous airspace violations by Soviet aircraft. For example , leaflets intended for the Hungarian population were dropped over Gleisdorf , 70 km from the Hungarian border. At Szentgotthárd , the Soviets placed loudspeakers on the border and asked the workers of a Hungarian silk factory who had fled to Austria to return.

The armed forces supported the unloading of relief supplies at Vienna Airport and set up refugee camps for civilians in Kleßheim and Vienna . Hungarian soldiers who fled to Austria were disarmed and placed in internment assembly points in accordance with the Hague Land Warfare Regulations .

On November 23, the order to reduce forces was given. On the same day, three Soviet soldiers advanced into Austrian territory near Rechnitz . One soldier was then shot, one arrested, and the third managed to escape. A platoon of Infantry Battalion 2 was deployed to calm the situation down and to protect the population. On December 13, a single Soviet soldier crossed the Austrian border near Andau , but soon withdrew.

On December 24th, the 13th Feldjägerbataillon was the last unit to move back to the home barracks. After Hungarian border guards followed a group of refugees near Nikitsch on Austrian territory and dragged them back to Hungary, a delegation of mayors traveled to Vienna in January 1957 to see Defense Minister Ferdinand Graf to demand soldiers for the border. Troops were then deployed to support the customs guard . The border operation was not officially ended until April 23, 1957.

Years of construction

In 1958 the Army NCO School was established in Enns , which has served as a training center for all NCOs in the Federal Army since January 13, 1959. Also in 1958, the Theresian Military Academy (TherMilAk) reopened in the castle in Wiener Neustadt , which is now the only training facility for officers of the armed forces.

The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo began on December 11, 1960 and lasted until September 18, 1963. This was the first foreign deployment of the armed forces. In 1962 the first reserve officers were appointed . The years 1963 to 1966 were marked by disaster operations, including in the earthquake area of Skopje and in flood areas in Carinthia , East Tyrol , Salzburg , Tyrol and Styria .

On October 26, 1966, Federal Minister Georg Prader ordered the reintroduction of tradition in the armed forces. From July 13th to December 30th, 1967, the army was deployed to the border guards on the border with Italy to prevent terrorist attacks by the South Tyrolean Liberation Committee.

1968 to 1989 - the era of space defense

The spatial defense concept envisaged the fight and the strong defense of key zones, which were also protected with thousands of "fixed installations" ( bunkers ), prepared barriers, field barriers, blasting systems, Landwehr camps etc. and strong units. Most of the key zones and barriers were located in the alpine area, that is, areas that were easier to defend, and were mainly directed against the Warsaw Pact, in Tyrol mainly against NATO from Germany and Italy .

The federal government should have withdrawn to the base room operations center . Outside the key zones there were the so-called spatial security zones, in which a potential attacker (who, according to the planning at the time, was NATO or Warsaw Pact or Yugoslavia) was supposed to pay the highest possible entry price into neutral Austria and then into its supply lines and units should be fought (see also, for example, warfare in Afghanistan or today Iraq ). A strong defense outside the key zones directly from the state border was planned for the Yugoslavia case, which then occurred in 1991 in a weakened form.

The space defense concept was, as has since been published by the former potential opponents, "feared" from abroad. So planned z. For example, the Hungarian army uses 50 to 70 artillery pieces and grenade launchers, 10 to 15 tanks and 15 to 20 artillery pieces (in direct fire) per kilometer for an area that is only slightly protected. With such a deployment of forces, the speed of advance within the space protection zone would be 2.5 to 3 km per hour. At that time the Hungarians did not see themselves prepared for an advance in the key areas. A NATO invasion from Italy could have been effectively hindered thanks to the barriers and demolition plans prepared in the valleys. Critics, however, doubted that there was a real defense against the possible use of nuclear weapons by the enemy.

Various scenarios were practiced in large space defense exercises. Spies were arrested several times; 1979 also one from Switzerland .

The army, organized in Landwehr tribe regiments, had a very high, well-trained militia component (planning 300,000 men). Militiamen of the Vorarlberger Jagdkampfbataillon (JaKB) 911, like in neighboring Switzerland, even had assault rifles with ammunition at home. An extension of this regulation to other units in western Austria was planned, but was no longer implemented due to the foreseeable end of the Cold War. With the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the concept of space defense was also outdated. From 1992, therefore, the regiments of the Landwehr main regiments were reorganized into hunter and staff regiments and there was a significant reduction in personnel.

On January 1st, 1968 the military air surveillance system Goldhaube was put into operation on the Kolomannsberg . On March 14th, the National Council passed the Military Performance Act , which allows the Federal Ministry of Defense to request civil vehicles, ships, aircraft and construction machinery in the event of a threat. On August 21, there was a partial alert to the armed forces and increased border security along the Czechoslovak border on the occasion of the Warsaw Pact's intervention in the Czechoslovakia (Prague Spring) .

On January 1, 1971, the new Austrian Military Criminal Law was introduced, which suspended all previous provisions, some of which were based on the Military Criminal Code of 1855.

The UN operation in Cyprus began on March 24, 1972 and only ended on June 18, 2001. The UN operation in the Golan Heights began on October 26, 1973 and lasted until June 2013. On June 25, 1974, while searching for a crashed Israeli pilot in Syria, four Austrian soldiers were killed in the detonation of an anti-tank mine. The victims of platoon leader Hans Hofer (30), corporal Helmut Sturm (21), recruit (Wehrmann) Walter Neuhauser (27) and recruit (Wehrmann) Alija Voloder (20) were the first to be killed by Austria as part of a UN -Mission had to complain about. On August 14, 1974, the three Austrian soldiers Oberleutnant Johann Izay (26), Oberwachtmeister Paul Decombe (33) and Corporal August Isak (25) were killed in a Turkish air raid in Cyprus.

On December 13, 1975, the combat suit 75 was introduced to replace the previous uniforms . From May to December 1976 the Armed Forces performed relief operations in the earthquake area of Friuli ( Italy ) as well as pioneer assistance operations after the collapse and during the rebuilding of the Reichsbrücke in Vienna . In 1978 the Sturmgewehr 58 was replaced by the Sturmgewehr 77 , today's standard infantry weapon of the armed forces. Nevertheless, many units were still trained mainly at the StG 58 until the mid-1980s.

In December 1980 the armed forces took part in relief measures for the earthquake victims in southern Italy ( Avellino region ). In December 1988, Austrian NBC forces helped after the Spitak earthquake in Armenia . This was the reason for the foundation of the AFDRU .

In May 1989 the Austrian cosmonauts were first selected and trained by the armed forces, who were also known as " Austro nauts".

The armed forces since 1990

In August 1990 the Austrian Forces Disaster Relief Unit (AFDRU) was founded. In September of the same year, the security police assistance operation on the border with Hungary , which lasted until December 15, 2011, began . Two months later, Austria became a temporary member of the UN Security Council .

In May 1991, the UNAFHIR (United Nations Austrian Field Hospital in Iran ) mission began as part of the “Kurdish Aid”. The Austrian Armed Forces with its medical service had set up a field hospital in Iran to care for the Kurds who fled neighboring Iraq after the Second Gulf War and looked after it for several months.

From June to the end of July 1991 (period of the Slovenian War ), there was increased border security and parts of the armed forces were relocated to the Yugoslav border: in the Feldkirchen area , defense against a possible Yugoslav airborne attack and defensive combat against tank units advancing across the border was already being trained , from the second week of practice also with live ammunition. On June 27, the garrisons of Villach , Klagenfurt , Bleiburg , Wolfsberg , Straß in Styria , Bad Radkersburg , Fehring , Leibnitz and Feldbach were put on alert, and anti-aircraft units equipped with live ammunition were deployed at the Klagenfurt, Graz and Zeltweg airfields . From the night of June 29th, the border control posts were secured with tanks and mine bolts and intensive combat reconnaissance was carried out. On the night of June 30th, three foreign soldiers were picked up and interned. Thereupon there was a vacation ban for all soldiers, at the same time the units responsible for a possible mobilization were alerted. At the height of the crisis there were 7,700 soldiers, 150 tanks and 60 aircraft in action, 1,250 tons of ammunition had been transported to the border. The mission was officially ended on July 31st. During the border surveillance, a MiG-21 of the Yugoslav People's Army penetrated the Austrian airspace, turned around at Graz and left the Austrian airspace unmolested. The Goldhaube radar system showed its weaknesses at the time in detecting low-flying aircraft. From this point on, Draken interceptors flew several alarm missions, and on some days they patrolled permanently in the airspace near the border. Since the Slovenian War, the installation of a low-level surveillance system has also been pushed. On October 25th, a Serbian MiG-21 penetrated the Austrian airspace again, but it was forced to land in Klagenfurt by an alarm raid of the 3rd squadron.

In February 1995 Austria became a member of the Partnership for Peace . In 1997 and 1998 assistance was provided by pioneers and AFDRU (ATHUM / PL - Austrian Humanitarian Contingent / Poland) on the occasion of the flood disasters in Lower Austria and Poland .

From February 19 to March 12, 1999, the armed forces provided aid after the Galtür avalanche disaster . Together with international participation, the largest airlift in the history of Austria was formed.

The KFOR mission in Kosovo , which continues to this day, began in July 1999 .

On January 1, 2001, women were given the opportunity to perform voluntary weapons exercises and functional services as well as militia work.

On the night of July 17, a UÇK column that was smuggling weapons into Macedonia was ambushed by Austrian KFOR soldiers in the Albanian-Macedonian border area. After a two and a half hour gun battle, the rebels surrendered. The Austrians arrested ten KLA fighters and secured seven AK-47 assault rifles , 13  night vision devices , target aids for grenade launchers , 72 launcher grenades and large quantities of infantry ammunition on eleven pack animals . The NATO celebrated its largest ever discovery of arms in Kosovo . Previously, a Turkish and a British operation to stop arms smuggling in the area had failed.

An ISAF mission took place in Afghanistan from February 1 to December 11, 2002 . From August 7th to 28th, 2002 the armed forces helped fight the flood of the century in Lower Austria , Upper Austria and Salzburg with almost 11,500 men .

Starting in 2003, the combat suit 03 was gradually introduced , replacing the combat suit 75.

In August 2005, another disaster response took place due to the Alpine floods in 2005 . On October 26, 2005 the armed forces celebrated its 50th anniversary. To mark the occasion, a large parade was held on Vienna's Ringstrasse , with more than 4,000 soldiers, 445 vehicles, almost 200 tanks and 96 aircraft being presented.

Main battle tank Leopard 2 at the parade on Vienna's Ringstrasse on the National Day 2005

As of January 1, 2006, basic military service was shortened from eight to six months. On July 25 of the same year, an Israeli aerial bomb hit the UN base in Chiyam in southern Lebanon. She killed four UN military observers, including the Austrian Major Hans-Peter Lang (44). Major Lang was posthumously honored with the Special Award at the “Soldier of the Year 2007” event . The attack is still controversial today, and in many places it is claimed that it was a targeted killing . On August 1, the patrol boat squadron was disbanded. On September 1, the new armed forces command, based in Graz and Salzburg , took over operational management of the armed forces .

On January 31, 2008, the EU's humanitarian mission in Chad , which ran until the end of 2009, began . The mission, underpinned by a UN mandate, was an important addition to the United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

Since the beginning of 2009, the armed forces have found themselves in an extremely tense financial position, which has been exacerbated by the effects of the global financial crisis . According to press reports, only a fraction of the forces are still operational and the future of the militia has become uncertain. As a reaction to this dramatic development, leading army generals wrote a letter to Defense Minister Norbert Darabos , in which they ultimately pointed to a possible collapse of the armed forces as a result of the underfunding. Austria traditionally has - in terms of percentage of GDP - one of the lowest defense budgets in Europe and worldwide.

The armed forces since 2015

The Council of Ministers resolution of September 14, 2015 stipulated that up to 2,200 soldiers can be deployed on a security police assistance mission. The trigger for the relocation of units to the Austrian border was the refugee crisis in Europe from 2015 . The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for managing the operation.

Due to the changed security situation in Europe, the National Security Council met in June 2016 on a new structure for the armed forces. At the beginning of July 2016, the Council of Ministers approved the restructuring of the Federal Army, the so-called Federal Army Reform 2016. The main points of the reform are the creation of four commanders, the increase in the cadre presence units to up to 6,000 soldiers, the restructuring of the tank grenadier and fighter brigades, the establishment of five new battalions and the upgrading of the military command in the federal states. There are also plans to strengthen the militia. As a result of this reform package and the new battalions resulting from it, there is an enlargement of the armed forces for the first time since 1978.

As part of the reform, the previous real estate management company Sivbeg will be dissolved and the sale of armed forces real estate will be stopped. An amount of 535 million euros is planned for the renovation and expansion of the barracks. Overall, the defense budget was increased by 1.3 billion euros. For the minister, the changed security situation, terror, cyber attacks and the hybrid threat are reasons to invest in the improvement of the barracks.

Since July 2016, a new task for the armed forces has been the use of the Hercules C-130 military aircraft for the deportation of asylum seekers. Another new area of ​​responsibility from August 1, 2016 is the monitoring of some embassies in Vienna. The property protection was previously carried out by the Federal Police. This official assistance mission of the Armed Forces frees up executive forces for the refugee area. Due to the "corona crisis" triggered by the coronavirus (Covid-19), the armed forces were deployed or mobilized in various areas in 2020.

The armed forces in action in the 2020 corona crisis

In the fight against the spread of the coronavirus due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria from spring 2020, a partial mobilization of the militia was carried out for the first time in the Second Republic . 3,000 men have been mobilized for commissioning from May 2020, around ten percent of all militiamen. Only hunter companies (each around 200 men) and not entire battalions were called up.

In addition, the extraordinary military service was ordered. All basic military servants who would have disarmed in March 2020 have been obliged to continue serving.

In the context of the Corona crisis 2020, the armed forces will be used to support the authorities in travel management and fever measurements, in security police tasks, at the state border and at the entrances of various hospitals for health checks. Another 500 soldiers were deployed in the logistics centers of the supermarket chains to supply the population with food, because the logistics of the food retail trade was temporarily heavily burdened by the "hamster purchases".

In addition, the Bundeheer provides personnel with the hotlines of the Foreign Ministry, the health hotline ARGES and in the state warning centers. Over 70 military policemen take over from the federal police for property protection tasks in Vienna at various embassies. Around 90 soldiers support the distributors of Austrian pharmacies to ensure that the supply of medicines is guaranteed.

The C 130 Herkules transport machine is used to bring Austrians back from abroad. At the end of March 2020, a soldier suffering from Covid-19 was flown to the Army Hospital in Vienna from an assignment abroad in Sarajevo using a Black Hawk helicopter. The S-70 Black Hawk is equipped with a special medical "MedEvac" container. Other flights, such as the transport of protective masks, are carried out by Austrian Airlines on behalf of the Ministry of Defense.

Foreign missions of the armed forces

The Austrian Armed Forces have been participating in international peacekeeping missions with contingents ( AUCON - Austrian Contingent) since 1960:

Mission and tasks

The tasks of the armed forces are defined in accordance with Article 79 of the Federal Constitution (B-VG) and Article 2, Paragraph 1 of the Defense Act. In addition to national military defense, the Federal Army is then responsible for maintaining internal security as well as providing assistance in disaster operations and participating in missions abroad. In order to be able to take part in EU missions within the framework of the EU's common foreign and security policy , Article 23f ( Petersberg tasks ) was included in the federal constitution.

A military order is to be qualified as an instruction within the meaning of Article 20 B-VG. Therefore, also in the army, Art. 20, Paragraph 1, 3rd sentence B-VG applies: The subordinate body can refuse to follow an instruction if the instruction was either given by an incompetent organ or if compliance would violate criminal law provisions.

Organization of the armed forces

Peace organization and emergency organization

  • Peace organization: In peace, the armed forces meet for exercises and assistance missions . In order to be able to react quickly to mainly terrorist attacks inside, requests for assistance from civil authorities (flood damage, avalanches, etc.) as well as changes in the immediate vicinity of Austria, presence forces of around 10,000 men are set up, to whose formation certain associations and units take turns can be used. The units are divided into so-called management presence units (KPE, 100% filled), management frame units (KRE, 50% filled) and frame units (RE, 30% filled).
  • Operation organization: In operations for national military defense, the organization of the armed forces can change from a peace organization to an operation organization. The latter differs from the peace organization in that it also includes the conscripts of the militia, which increases the total strength of the army considerably. KR and R units and the structured militia associations are filled with militiamen.

The transition from the peace organization to the operational organization takes place through mobilization . Then all aufzubietenden for use soldiers make use of military service . The Federal Minister for National Defense , as well as the Federal President, decreed that militiamen should be used for operational presence duty up to a total of 5,000 men (within the authorization granted by the Federal Government ) .

Vertical organization

Politico-military leadership

The armed forces are part of the Austrian federal administration and, according to Article 80 B-VG, are under the supreme command of the Federal President . The power of command over the armed forces, insofar as this is not incumbent on the Federal President, is exercised by the Federal Minister for National Defense . The Federal Minister for National Defense exercises the authority over the departments of the Armed Forces through their commanders and leaders.

Federal Minister and highest-ranking officers since 1956

Robert Brieger Othmar Commenda Edmund Entacher Roland Ertl (Offizier) Horst Pleiner Karl Majcen Ranghöchste Offiziere des BH seit 1956 Heinz Scharff Hubert Wingelbauer Anton Leeb Otto Seitz (General) Erwin Fussenegger Klaudia Tanner Thomas Starlinger Johann Luif Mario Kunasek Hans Peter Doskozil Gerald Klug Norbert Darabos Günther Platter Herbert Scheibner Werner Fasslabend Robert Lichal Helmut Krünes Friedhelm Frischenschlager Otto Rösch Karl Lütgendorf Johann Freihsler Georg Prader Karl Schleinzer Ferdinand Graf

Federal Army 2010

In order to adapt the armed forces to the requirements of the coming years, Federal Minister Günther Platter set up a reform commission consisting of military experts and prominent Austrian personalities headed by Helmut Zilk , whose report was officially handed over to the minister in mid-June 2004.

The report contains the following suggestions:

  • Shortening of the military service from eight to a total of only six months after the end of the assistance assignment (for the Federal Ministry of the Interior ) on the eastern border (but was already decreed at the beginning of 2006 for internal political reasons)
  • The possibilities of a professional army are partly considered
  • Reduction of the mobilization strength from currently around 110,000 to around 55,000 men
  • Changes in the duties of the militiamen
  • Two battalions (2,500 men) and a frame brigade (3,500) for missions abroad
  • Sale of around 40% of the properties

With this kick-off reform, the transition from a training to an operational army is created. This should be able to adapt to changes in the security situation through smaller transformations. In the future, the main focus will be on missions abroad, the protection of rooms and objects, assistance in the event of disasters and air surveillance. In many areas, only a certain military core competence is retained in order to be able to guarantee the ability to grow if necessary.

Outline 2020

Federal Ministry for National Defense

Command armed forces

The Armed Forces Command was activated in Graz on April 1, 2019 and leads all operational units of the armed forces .

The following are directly subordinate to the command:


The command leads the following units in the rank of a brigade:

COA KSE.svg 3rd Jäger Brigade
( Mautern )
COA 4PzGrenBrig.svg 4th Panzer Grenadier Brigade
( Hörsching )
COA 6JgBrig.svg 6th Mountain Brigade
( Absam )
COA 7JgBrig.svg 7th Jäger Brigade
( Klagenfurt )
  • Air surveillance in Wals-Siezenheim
    • Command and operations staff in Wals-Siezenheim
    • Surveillance squadron, at the Hinterstoisser air base
      • Headquarters company
      • Military flight control
      • Jagdstaffel 1, with Eurofighter Typhoon
      • Jagdstaffel 2, with Eurofighter Typhoon
      • Teaching relay, with Saab 105 Ö
      • Flight operations company
      • Wax backup and training company
      • Training and simulation center
    • Radar Battalion, in Wals-Siezenheim
    • Fliegerabwehrbataillon 2, amd Hinterstoisser Air Base, and Aigen im Ennstal
    • Fliegerwerft 2, at Hinterstoisser Air Base, responsible for the maintenance of the Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab 105Ö and PC-7 Turbo Trainer
    • Technical-logistic center in Wals-Siezenheim
  • Air support at Vogler Air Base
    • Air Support Squadron, at Brumowski Air Base
    • Liaison helicopter squadron , in Aigen im Ennstal , with Alouette III helicopters
    • Light transport helicopter squadron 1, at Vogler Air Base, with AB 212 helicopters
    • Light transport helicopter squadron 2, at Vogler Air Base, with AB 212 helicopters
    • Air transport squadron, at Vogler Air Base, with C-130K Hercules transport aircraft
    • Flugbetriebskompanie, at Vogler Air Base
    • Helicopter base in Schwaz
    • Fliegerwerft 1, at Brumowski Air Base, responsible for the maintenance of the S-70A-42 Black Hawk, OH-58B Kiowa and PC-6 Turbo Porter
    • Fliegerwerft 3, at Vogler Air Base, responsible for the maintenance of the AB 212 and Alouette III
    • Aviation technology logistics center, at Vogler Air Base
Military command
Organization of the Austrian Armed Forces after the Armed Forces Reform 2019

Command Force Base

The Armed Forces Base Command was set up in Vienna on April 1, 2019 and includes the following departments:

  • Armed Forces Command , in Vienna
    • Management support school , in Vienna
    • Army logistics school , in Vienna
    • Supply Regiment 1 , in Gratkorn
    • Supply battalion (militia), in Gratkorn
    • Army logistics center, in Vienna
    • Army logistics center in Wels
    • Army logistics center in Wals-Siezenheim
    • Army logistics center, in St. Johann in Tirol
    • Army logistics center, in Graz
    • Army logistics center in Klagenfurt
    • Army ammunition facility, in large mediums
    • Army ammunition facility, in Stadl-Paura
    • Army ammunition facility in Buchberg
    • Army clothing establishment in Brunn am Gebirge
    • Military dog ​​center in Bruckneudorf
    • Information communication technology and cybersecurity center , in Vienna
    • Medical center east, in Vienna-Stammersdorf
      • Heeresspital, in Vienna
      • Army pharmacy, in Vienna
      • Medical school, in Vienna
      • Health and Nursing School, in Vienna
      • Occupational medicine center in Vienna
      • Sanitary facility in Baden
      • Sanitary facility in St Pölten
      • Emergency medical service in Vienna
      • Military medical service in Vienna
    • Sanitary center south, in Graz
      • Field ambulance, in Graz
      • Training company in Klagenfurt
    • Medical Center West, in Innsbruck
      • Field ambulance, in Innsbruck
      • Training company, in Salzburg
    • Field ambulance in Hörsching
    • Demining service in Vienna
    • Army sports center with army performance center in Vienna
    • Army service centers in Linz, Graz, Faaker See , Rif , Hochfilzen , Innsbruck and Dornbirn

Breakdown by branches of service

     Combat support troops     
  • military police
  • Supply Regiment 1
  • Radar Battalion
  • Staff Battalion 3
  • Armored Staff Battalion 4
  • Staff Battalion 6
  • Staff Battalion 7
  • Command Support Battalion 1
  • Command Support Battalion 2
  • Reconnaissance and Artillery Battalion 3
  • Reconnaissance and Artillery Battalion 4
  • Reconnaissance and Artillery Battalion 7
  • Engineer Battalion 1
  • Engineer Battalion 2
  • Engineer Battalion 3
     Combat troops     
     Militia battalions     

Defense system

The organization of the armed forces in peacetime only includes conscripts on duty, the operational organization also includes militiamen. The authorization of the Federal President is required to call in more than 5,000 militia men.


The defense system provides that every fit male Austrian citizen between the ages of 17 and 50, officers, NCOs and specialists (doctors, engineers, chemists, weapons experts, etc.) by the end of the year in which they reach the age of 65, are conscripted . Women can do voluntary service in the armed forces ( Art. 9a Abs3 B-VG ). Male citizens who refuse to perform military service for reasons of conscience must do alternative service ( civilian service ). Subsequent military training can be ordered for those doing community service who want to take up professions that require the use of a weapon ( Section 6b ( 5 ) ZDG ).

The armed forces receive their human resources mainly due to the general conscription.

Militia system

According to Article 79 of the B-VG , the armed forces are to be set up according to a militia system, according to which they only meet for exercises and with fewer men in peacetime. The conscripts belong to the presence stand, the militia stand or the reserve stand for the duration of their military service:

     Presence booth      People who are on the stand are soldiers . The presence stand includes conscripts who are called up for military service (for a total of six months) ("military servants")  - or women who volunteer for training - as well as people who are part of the armed forces due to an employment relationship ("professional soldiers ") .
  • The peace organization only includes soldiers,
  • the operational organization soldiers and conscripts in the militia stand.
    • Soldiers have planned, predefined functions in the operational organization.
     Militia stand      The militia stand includes people who are not on the stand, but who have also not stepped into the reserve stand (see below). According to this, a “militiaman” is someone who, for example , is transferred from the reserve to the militia stand in the course of mobilization or has voluntarily committed to military training in regular militia exercises in peacetime, before returning to the civilian profession. Since September 2009, people in the training service and temporary soldiers who have not volunteered to join the militia have been called to the militia stand.

Until 2006 there were also those conscripts in the militia who had done basic military service of less than eight months and who did the rest of the time, for example in the form of annual military exercises.

Militiamen are integrated into the armed forces, but only active in the military for training and operational purposes and otherwise have a civilian profession.

  • The peace organization only includes soldiers, the emergency organization soldiers and conscripts in the militia. Militiamen, like soldiers, have planned, predefined functions in the operational organization.

Through their integration into the operational organization, militiamen have special duties in the context of operational preparation, they can receive items of clothing and equipment for personal safekeeping and, under the conditions of Section 35 of the Defense Act, are entitled to wear the uniform even when they are not in training or during non-operational periods.

     Reserve level      All conscripts who do not belong to the presence or the militia are " reservists " . Outside of the armed forces, they can only use their rank with the addition “dRes” (“of the reserve”) and are entitled to wear the uniform even when they are not in training or when they are on duty, subject to the requirements of Section 35 of the Defense Act.
  • The peace organization only includes soldiers, the emergency organization soldiers and conscripts in the militia. Reservists are not directly assigned to any emergency organization, but can be called in additionally or as a substitute in special situations.
  • Conscripts of the reserve level can, in the case of a deployment of the armed forces according to § 2 para. 1 lit. a to c Defense Act (national military defense, assistance deployment; for more details see above) - depending on the requirements and their suitability for use in the operational organization - are transferred to the militia station, which means that they are given, for example, a planned, predefined function in the operational organization.

Of the more than 1,000,000 trained conscripts between the ages of 18 and 50 (or 65), around 35,000 are in attendance (around 25,000 professional soldiers and around 10,000 basic military servants), around 33,000 are in the militia and theoretically around 945,000 are in reserve. However, due to the basic training that has been reduced to six months, in the opinion of the Austrian Officers' Association, the basic military servants are no longer able to be used in the field.

Gender-specific employment requirements

Since January 1, 1998, women have been able to volunteer in the armed forces and have the right to terminate this service. They have lower physical performance requirements for the entrance test and later professional practice (unlike the Swiss Army ). In 2010, 348, a little more than two percent of the total of almost 15,000 professional soldiers, were women, including 70 competitive athletes. Despite the high level of interest at the beginning, the targeted several thousand female soldiers could not be reached.

Ranks and insignia

Federal Army in Numbers

Defense budget in recent years:

year budget Share of GDP Civilian personnel Military personnel Soldiers in action
2001 3.393 billion euros 0.91%
2002 3.344 billion euros 0.88%
2003 2.111 billion euros 0.91%
2004 2.158 billion euros 0.89%
2005 2.160 billion euros 0.85% 9,481 35,471 1,202
2006 2.104 billion euros 0.79% 9,795 35,448 1,276
2007 2.566 billion euros 0.91% 9,563 33,313 1,078
2008 2.558 billion euros 0.87% 9,418 27,300 1,300
2009 2.401 billion euros 0.84% 9,023 28,065 1,268
2010 2.430 billion euros 0.82% 9,030 29,533 1,068
2011 2.453 billion euros 0.79% 8,738 27.110 1,298
2012 2.481 billion euros 0.78% 8,685 25,963 1,399
2013 2.432 billion euros 0.75% 8,077 24,448 1,049
2014 2.491 billion euros 0.75% 8,201 22,689 909
2015 2.403 billion euros 0.70%
2016 2.588 billion euros 0.74%
2017 2.797 billion euros 0.80%
2018 2.870 billion euros 0.70%

Criticism of lack of operational capability

The Austrian Armed Forces are seen as poorly prepared for threat scenarios due to the tight budget and structural errors. The Federal President also criticized the fact that if nothing happens, “a red line will be crossed” in terms of operational readiness in the coming years.

For years the armed forces have had to get by with a very low budget by international standards. For the year 2019, 0.57% of the Austrian GDP is planned, by 2022 this value is planned to decrease to 0.49%. In comparison, the EU average is 1.3% of GDP. The insufficient financing of the armed forces has resulted in an investment backlog that would require budgets of EUR 16.2 billion above the currently planned financial framework up to 2030 to remedy this. At least 1% of GDP is required, which Helmut Zilk , who was chairman of the Federal Army Reform Commission in 2004, had already asked.

A structural problem is that in the army, due to a degree of pragmatization of over 92%, a lot of expensive personnel is automatically created over time, which can hardly be used in simple service. One consequence of this is that of the total of around 15,000 professional and temporary soldiers, 21% officers and 69% non-commissioned officers compared to just 10% soldiers (compared to 70% soldiers in the Swiss Army). In addition, there are around 8,000 basic military servants, which increases the proportion of soldiers to 41% - still less than the 45% non-commissioned officers resulting from this analysis.

The decline of the militia, which began by the Army Reform Commission with the shortening of military service from eight to six months and the associated elimination of mandatory weapons exercises, is also criticized.


Infantry weapons

StG 77 and P 80

Wheeled vehicles


Cars and trucks

Steyr 12M18 truck
  • ? Steyr 12M18 for personnel and material transport, with mass in elimination.
  • ? Steyr 9S18 single and Steyr 12S22 double cab as a transport vehicle for heavy or bulky loads with a spacious loading area
  • 307 MAN TGM 12.240 4 × 4 BL with swap body
  • 268 Unimog U4000-ÖBH with swap body system for personnel and material transport
  • ? VW Golf 7 Variant as a passenger transport vehicle for officers and NCOs
  • ? VW bus for passenger transport
  • 100 VW Touareg for training, reconnaissance, reconnaissance and as liaison vehicles
  • 300 Mitsubishi L-200 Pick-Up
  • ? Steyr Pinzgauer 710, 712, 714, 716 M , older versions with mass in the process of being eliminated
  • ? Puch G with short and long wheelbase as well as with fixed and tarpaulin superstructures , with mass in the process of elimination
  • ? ÖAF SLKW for personnel or material transport, with or without crane superstructures, as an ABC decontamination vehicle or as a "hardened" version to protect against max. 7.62 × 51mm NATO rounds, with mass in the process of being eliminated.
  • ? Various ÖAF trucks and special vehicles in various sizes and weight classes as well as with different superstructures, e.g. B. as dump trucks or fire trucks, sometimes also as "hardened" vehicles, with mass in the process of being eliminated.


Military police
    • 22 Iveco LMV (Husar) with BA equipment
    • 32 BvS10 "Hägglund" (until 2020)





Pioneering devices

  • heavy device
    • Hydraulic crawler excavator Samsung SE 210-2
    • Grader Faun-Frisch F 155 A
    • Backhoe loader JCB 4CX 'Sitemaster' Servo
    • Volvo EC180BLC wheel excavator
    • Volvo ECR88 short tail excavator
    • Menzi Muck walking excavator
    • Fiat-Allis 645B-BH wheel loader
    • 24 VOEST Alpine Tross-130 heavy pioneering multi-purpose wheel loader
    • various heavy ÖAF special trucks
    • 12 folding line devices
  • Mine laying equipment
    • 1 anti-tank mine layer 90 (PzMiLeg90)
  • Mine clearance equipment
    • 4 light mine clearance vehicles (DOK-ING MV-4)
    • 2 mine clearance vehicles medium (Hydrema 910MCV2-AMCS)
    • Remote control robot tEODor

Special devices

  • 12 AC reconnaissance vehicle ATF AC (Dingo 2)
  • 24 ABC decontamination vehicles ÖAF-sLKW
  • 12 ABC personal decontamination vehicles ÖAF 19/281
  • 12 NBC weapons and equipment decontamination vehicles ÖAF 19/281
  • 12 ABC water supply vehicles (double cabin) Steyr 91 M
  • 18 Pinzgauer 712 / RuB rescue vehicles
  • 18 recovery vehicles (double cab) Steyr 19S27
  • 12 fire trucks (TLF 4000) ÖAF 19/281
  • 11 airport fire engines (FLF 5000/1000-FIX MIX "Buffalo") ÖAF 26/604 DFAE / 6x6
  • Drinking water treatment plants (physical) WTC 2000 (on trailer)
  • Drinking water treatment system (physical) WTC4000 (container)


The Austrian pea camo pattern, manufactured from 1957 to 1978

"MultiCam Austria" camouflage suit since 2019

In March 2019, a new service and combat suit with a six-color camouflage pattern developed by the armed forces itself was introduced. The standard pattern is matched to the surrounding colors in Austria and can also be purchased in the color versions for "desert" and "winter" if required. The conversion to the "MultiCam Austria" camouflage suit was started at Jägerbataillon 18 and Militjägerbataillon Burgenland and continued in 2020 at Panzergrenadierbataillon 13. Every year 3,000 to 4,000 soldiers are to be equipped with the new uniforms. The MultiCam Austria camouflage suit is intended to replace the combat suit 03.

Field uniform "Dienstanzug 03" and "Kampfanzug 03"

The combat suit 03 (KAz 03, from 2003) is a new development of the entire clothing and equipment of the soldiers, the previous color "brown-gray" ( RAL 7013 ) was retained. Furthermore, most of the soldier's equipment will be replaced with the combat suit 03 (e.g. new modular carrying system, backpack, Kevlar helmet, etc.).

The innovations of the KAz 03 uniform consist of:

  • Breathable materials
  • Badges of rank in front of the chest and no longer on the shoulders
  • Based on the US Army's ACU cut
  • more comfortable wearing of the uniform
  • Velcro surfaces on the upper arms

The service suit 03 consists of the light KAz 03 field cap, light field shoes, light KAz 03 field trousers, T-shirt, light KAz 03 field jacket and the "functional" headgear, which would be: beret in different colors (depending on the type of weapon, see below), light field cap with edelweiss made of metal for mountain hunters and brown-gray boats for members of the air force (for both pilots and ground personnel such as airport fire brigade, guards, paramedics, etc.).

Service suit / combat suit 75

The olive green or brown-gray (according to RAL standard: RAL 7013 ) suit 75 with field shirt and field jacket (in cool weather) is still widely used, but is increasingly being replaced by the newly developed combat suit 03 .
From 1992 an olive-green nationality badge with the inscription "AUSTRIA - BUNDESHEER" was also attached to the left upper sleeve. Field caps, berets or aviators' hats and plush caps with ear protection are used as headgear in colder weather.

Since the introduction of the combat suit 03, the suit 75 has also been referred to as “service suit 03” and as such is intended purely for back office work, although it is increasingly being replaced there by the service suit 03. Instead of the field cap of suit 75, the combat suit cap of the new combat suit 03 is worn with the service suit 03.

"Suit 65" formal uniform

The starting or company uniform is called "Suit 65" and has been issued in unchanged form since 1965. It consists of a field gray uniform skirt, light gray (previously: iron gray) suit trousers, black low shoes and a plate cap. The white uniform skirt is combined with black and blue trousers.

  • The uniform skirt (field gray) : There are three types of buttons in use: Officers wear gold-colored buttons with a smooth edge, a matt-brushed background and an embossed stylized federal eagle. NCOs the same, but silver. The buttons of the batches and recruits, on the other hand, are gray with a smooth edge and a finely grained inner surface. Officers wear a buttoned clasp made of gold-colored braid on the left shoulder of their uniform; In the case of non-commissioned officers the clasp is silver-colored, in the case of the Vice Lieutenant (MBUO1 / MZUO1) it is mottled with gold and silver. Neither fabric belts nor waist straps are allowed with “Suit 65”.
  • The uniform skirt (white) : The white uniform skirt is a specialty. The officers were initially authorized to wear it, and since 1980 also the NCOs. The white skirt is to be procured at your own expense, but can be compensated for by maintaining it. Initially only intended for the summer semester and for official military events, it has been allowed to be used all year round since 1977. It is now common to wear it at civil events such as the Vienna Opera Ball . In 1986 the matching uniform trousers in black and blue were introduced. Instead of the passepoilling, the pants are equipped with a dark blue tuxedo band.
  • The plate cap : The model is based on the former Austro-Hungarian naval officer's cap . It has a black lacquer shade and a colored head stripe (land forces: black; air forces: silver-gray), for officers made of velvet, for non-commissioned officers, batches and recruits made of half worsted yarn. The cap roses are identical to those of the aviator plate cap. The emblem (land forces: federal eagle in an oak leaf wreath; air force: double eagle wing in a laurel wreath) is gold for officers and silver for non-commissioned officers, each made of metal or embroidered. Batches and recruits put on an old silver-colored badge made of metal. Since 1982, the rank of General has been distinguished from the Lieutenant General by an emblem on a scarlet background. The two twisted cap cords are gold-colored for officers, silver-colored for non-commissioned officers, and gold-and-silver mottled for the vice lieutenant. Members of the air force can also wear the boat with their suit 65 . For the 6th Jäger Brigade there is an alternative "mountain cap" with an edelweiss emblem.

Parade suit of the Guard and the Theresian Military Academy

Guard at a parade in Paris
Soldiers of the Jäger Battalion 19 with the green beret of the Jäger troop

A uniform similar to a formal suit is worn at parades, but with a helmet, parade shoes (parade boots for officers), brown waist belt and white gloves. A lanyard is attached to the left shoulder of the uniform skirt - gold-colored for officers, silver-colored for NCOs, white for batches and recruits. Officers also wear sabers, saber dome and portepee.

Beret colors

The beret usually serves as an initial headgear or is worn with a field suit on special occasions. As an external identification mark, many soldiers of the Austrian Armed Forces wear a beret, except for the air forces or the mountain fighters, which have their own headgear (see combat suit 03). The color of this headgear provides, among other things, information about the type of weapon or unit a soldier belongs to. The federal eagle on the beret is metal-colored on recruits and batches, silver-colored on non-commissioned officers and gold-colored on officers.

Green beret
Jäger troop (exception: Jäger battalion 25, Jäger battalion 33)
Pioneer troop
Territorial Organizations
Soldiers from academies and schools (exception: army logistics school, NBC defense school, TherMilAk, HUAk, security school) of the armed forces
Black beret
Armored Forces , armored infantry troops and armored artillery troops
Scarlet beret
Guard battalion
Red beret
Jäger Battalion 25
Coral beret
Military patrol and military police
Rust brown beret
Command support force
Signal gray beret
Theresian Military Academy
Army Sergeant Academy
Federal Trade Academy for Leadership and Security at the Theresian Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt (Security School)
Pike gray beret
NBC defense force
Dark blue beret
Army logistics school
Logistics command
Military Medical Center
Yellow-green beret
Army Sports Center
Olive green beret with a brown strap
Olive green beret with brown strap and Jagdkommando badge
Soldiers who have completed the basic hunting command course
Blue UN beret
Soldiers serving the United Nations

Color of the federal eagle and the eagle double wing

Parades, celebrations and exhibitions

  • The swearing-in of new military servants, on each engagement date (at the beginning of each quarter) after a certain training period, often takes place, especially on the national holiday , October 26th, as a show event in public places in many cities.
  • Common practice for almost 25 years was the exhibition at the National Day on Heldenplatz in Vienna. Typical is the exhibition of stationary vehicles and helicopters and the opening of their doors, the presentation of equipment and weapons and a parachutist arrival. For the transport, e.g. of heavy tanks by low-loader heavy transport , the personal support and possibly offered catering for the public, costs and personnel expenses are incurred. - Defense Minister Thomas Starlinger canceled this year's exhibition in June 2019 due to financial difficulties.
  • Every year since 2003, the AirPower air show has been taking place on two days in June, July or September in the area around the Zeltweg military airfield . Military aircraft, demonstration and aerobatics are also typically shown. Co-financing by the armed forces, the state of Styria and sponsoring, for example by a beverage manufacturer, is typical.

Museum reception

Army History Museum

"Panzergarten" of the HGM
Saab "Draken" in the HGM

The Emperor Franz Joseph I. 1869 as kk Hofwaffenmuseum opened Museum of Military History (BGM) in Vienna Arsenal is the Leitmuseum the Austrian army. It presents the history of the imperial army from the beginning of the 17th century as well as that of the federal army from 1920. In the museum, for example, the oldest uniforms of the federal army from the 1920s are on display. The HGM also hosts special exhibitions on military topics, such as “50 Years of the Federal Army” (2005), “Your Buddy - Das Jagdkommando” (2007), “Spätsommer '68. The deployment of the Austrian Armed Forces ”(2008) and“ Protection and Help. 50 years of missions abroad by the Austrian Armed Forces (2010) ”.

In the so-called “Panzergarten” of the museum, usually open to the public from March to October, the most important combat vehicles of the armed forces from 1955 to the present are on display. The different types show a common thread of the continuous further development of the tank weapon : The first Austrian armored troops were equipped with vehicles of the occupying powers , most of which came from the Second World War , for example the American M8 , the M21 or M21 armored personnel carriers the M24 light main battle tank . The most important examples are represented on Soviet tanks, such as the T-34 main battle tank and the SU-100 assault gun , which was originally set up in front of the Red Army Heroes' Monument on Schwarzenbergplatz .

However, there are also exhibits of Austrian origin, such as the prototypes of the Saurer infantry fighting vehicle and the Kürassier tank destroyer , which is also represented in the newer A1 version. The latter two armored vehicles are still in service with the armed forces, as is the M109 self-propelled howitzer , one of which can be viewed in the armored garden . The M60 main battle tank , which was in service with the armed forces for many years, is the largest and heaviest tracked vehicle in this collection.

In the outdoor area of ​​the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum there are also two jet planes on display that were used by the armed forces, namely a Saab 29 Tunnan, also known as the flying bin , and a Saab 35 Draken.

Branch offices of the Army History Museum

Salzburg Defense History Museum

The Salzburg Defense History Museum (SWGM) in the Schwarzenberg barracks in Wals-Siezenheim shows objects from two thousand years of military history in its exhibition and thus provides an insight into military history from all major epochs. The Austrian Armed Forces of the Second Republic and its traditions are a central focus of the presentation. In particular, the new tasks, the peacekeeping commitments in Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans are documented in exhibitions. The heavyweights are the collection of exhibits, specialist literature and original sources, which comprises more than 12,000 objects. Special collections such as uniforms, medals and decorations, special equipment and its developments, artistic works by soldiers as well as unique documents and archives from military history are made available to the public at home and abroad in special exhibitions at regular intervals. The hotel grounds tanks, pipe weapons, vehicles and are interceptors type Saab Draken shown.


  • Peter Fichtenbauer , Christian Ortner : The history of the Austrian army from Maria Theresa to the present in essays and pictorial representations , Verlag Militaria, Vienna 2015, ISBN 978-3-902526-71-7 .
  • BMLVS (ed.): The third dimension. Military aviation exhibition Zeltweg , Vienna 2013, ISBN 978-3-902551-41-2 .
  • Karl W. Haltiner , Gerhard Kümmel : The development of the Austrian Armed Forces since the end of the Cold War . In the S. (Ed.): Why armies? - Europe's armed forces face new tasks (= military and social sciences . Vol. 41). Nomos, Baden-Baden 2008, ISBN 978-3-8329-3558-0 , pp. 79-97.
  • Christoph Hatschek: Protection and Help - 50 years of the Austrian Armed Forces abroad. The museum appreciation of the commitment to peace. In: Viribus Unitis. Annual report 2010 of the Army History Museum. Vienna 2011, ISBN 978-3-902551-19-1 , pp. 16–42.
  • Christoph Hatschek: Camouflage - military necessity or “fashion trend” - the “battle dress” of the Austrian Armed Forces through the ages. In: Viribus Unitis. Annual report of the Army History Museum 2011. Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3-902551-28-3 , pp. 10–35.
  • Alfred Kyrer and Michael Alexander Populorum: White Paper on the Strategic Realignment of the Austrian Armed Forces or: New Military Governance 2015. Peter Lang Verlag Academic Research, Frankfurt am Main 2013, ISBN 978-3-631-62392-3 .
  • Manfried Rauchsteiner (overall editor.): The Federal Army of the Second Republic. A documentation (= writings of the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (Vienna) . 9). Österreichischer Bundesverlag, Vienna 1980, ISBN 3-215-04081-6 .
  • Manfried Rauchsteiner, Wolfgang Etschmann (Ed.): Shield without a sword? The Austrian Armed Forces 1955–1970 (= research on military history . Vol. 2). Publishing house Styria, Graz u. a. 1991, ISBN 3-222-12140-0 .
  • Manfried Rauchsteiner, Wolfgang Etschmann, Josef Rausch (eds.): Thousand needle stitches. The Austrian Armed Forces in the reform period 1970–1978 (= research on military history . 3). Styria, Graz a. a. 1994, ISBN 3-222-12260-1 .
  • Thomas Reichl: About fathers and sons. 50 years of the Austrian Armed Forces. In: Viribus Unitis. Annual report 2003 of the Army History Museum. Vienna 2004, pp. 7–22.
  • Thomas Reichl: Tank noise on the Austrian border. The border security operation of the Austrian Armed Forces 1956. In: Viribus Unitis. 2006 annual report of the Army History Museum. Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-902551-04-7 , pp. 53-80.
  • Thomas Reichl: Late summer 68. The deployment of the Austrian Armed Forces. In: Viribus Unitis. Annual report 2008 of the Army History Museum. Vienna 2009, ISBN 978-3-902551-09-2 , pp. 39-50.
  • Rolf M. Urrisk: Always ready. The Austrian Armed Forces at home and abroad. Weishaupt-Verlag, Vienna 2010, ISBN 978-3-7059-0321-0 .
  • Rolf M. Urrisk: The Austrian Armed Forces 2000. The vehicles, planes, uniforms and weapons of the Austrian Armed Forces from 1918 - today. Weishaupt-Verlag, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-7059-0073-0 .
  • Hans Wolker : Shadows over Austria. The armed forces and their secret services. Promedia Verlag, Vienna 1993, ISBN 3-900478-66-X .

See also

Web links

Commons : Austrian Armed Forces  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Tasks of the armed forces. Workforce. In: bundesheer.at. Retrieved August 27, 2020 .
  2. a b c Armed Forces receives less budget than announced. In: ORF . March 14, 2018, accessed April 12, 2018 .
  3. Art. 79
  4. Press release PK0532
  5. ^ The cadre presence units of the armed forces. In: bundesheer.at. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  6. ^ The new structures of the armed forces. In: bundesheer.at. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  7. StGBl. No. 1/1945
  8. See Peter Barthou: Der "Oberstenparagraph". Dealing with colonels and generals of the Wehrmacht in the Austrian Armed Forces. (= Writings on the history of the Austrian Armed Forces, Vol. 14). Gra & Wis, Vienna 2008, ISBN 978-3-902455-15-4 .
  9. ^ The Austrian Armed Forces in the Era of the Space Defense Concept - Experiences and Results, by General i. R. Othmar Tauschitz (PDF; 61 kB) BMLV. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  10. Andreas Stupka and Thomas Lampersberger: Operation in the Alpine Foreland - Part 3 . Article dated November 8, 2016, accessed November 20, 2018.
  11. ^ Lecture by a Hungarian general in "Information on Security Policy No. 20", July 1999.
  12. ↑ The Armed Forces participate in the disaster relief operation in Mozambique (mention of Poland in 1997) . BMLV. Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  13. ^ Federal Army in Chad . BMLV. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  14. Only 6,500 soldiers are ready for action in Austria. In: DiePresse.com. March 29, 2009, accessed December 31, 2017 .
  15. The part-time soldier. In: DiePresse.com. April 9, 2009, accessed December 31, 2017 .
  16. ^ Revolting generals in the armed forces. In: DiePresse.com. April 3, 2009, accessed December 31, 2017 .
  17. Background: Support services and assistance for refugee aid. Federal Ministry of Defense, September 15, 2015, accessed on January 20, 2016 .
  18. National Security Council meets on new structure. Der Standard, June 29, 2016, accessed July 27, 2016 .
  19. ^ Council of Ministers approves restructuring of the Federal Army. Die Presse, July 5, 2016, accessed on July 27, 2016 .
  20. ^ The new structure of the armed forces (2016). Austrian Armed Forces (Federal Ministry for National Defense), July 13, 2016, accessed on July 27, 2016 .
  21. Doskozil: We need every single barracks. Die Presse, July 13, 2016, accessed on July 27, 2016 .
  22. Doskozil stops selling barracks and invests 535 million. Der Standard, July 13, 2016, accessed July 27, 2016 .
  23. Army Aviator Hercules started its first deportation flight. Der Standard, July 13, 2016, accessed July 27, 2016 .
  24. Assistance mission : Federal Army guarding embassies. Die Presse, July 25, 2016, accessed on July 27, 2016 .
  25. Mobilization of the militia begins. Wiener Zeitung, March 23, 2020, accessed on March 23, 2020 .
  26. Civil servants and military servants must serve longer. Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, March 15, 2020, accessed on March 23, 2020 .
  27. a b Federal Army supports the pharmacies. Niederösterreichische Nachrichten, March 15, 2020, accessed on March 23, 2020 .
  28. ^ Infected Austrian soldier brought back from Sarajevo. Courier, March 29, 2020, accessed March 30, 2020 .
  29. ↑ For the current status, see the graphic on foreign deployments of the Federal Army - figures, data, facts , bmlv.gv.at (accessed August 12, 2014).
  30. ^ New Army Structure: Command Armed Forces Base set up , website www.bundesheer.at, accessed on April 27, 2020
  31. Summary of the event on February 1, 2007 . Austrian officers' society. Retrieved June 10, 2008.
  32. Article 9a, Paragraph 3 of the Federal Constitutional Law “Every male citizen is required to serve. Citizens can voluntarily serve in the armed forces as soldiers and have the right to terminate this service. "
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