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Grenzschutzgruppe 9 (GSG 9)

Grenzschutzgruppe 9 (GSG 9)
Grenzschutzgruppe 9 (GSG 9).
[Photo: source unknown.]
Grenzschutzgruppe 9 - badge
  • Unit Profile
  • History
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Unit Profile

Grenzschutzgruppe 9 (GSG-9) is a special unit of the German Bundesgrenzschutzes (Federal Border Police) created after the hostage drama during the Olympic Games in Munich 1972. At that time there was no specific trained and equipped unit in Germany which could have prevented the hostage drama. Therefore ordered the Federal Interior Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher the creation of a unit which was able to handle hostage situations in which Germany was involved.

The unit was raised under command of the German Bundesgrenzschutzes by terrorism specialist Ulrich Wegener. He created the unit after the Israeli Sayaret Mat'kal with a strength of 180 men.

They are brought in particular to the employment if it concerns air and sea hostage situations, assassination attempts on foreign state guests or organized criminality.

The Bundesgrenzschutz describes the tasks of the GSG-9 as follows:
"GSG-9 develops and tests methods, tactics and techniques as well as command and operational resources for the fight against violent crime on the basis of police situations up to operational readiness. The unit is used in complex and/or dangerous situations such as hostage situations, kidnappings or extortions.

The primary goal of the unit is the rescue and the protection of endangered human life. GSG-9 can, among other things, be used in hostages situations on land, on water and in the air, bomb threats, assassination attempts on state guests, as well as in the fight against organised crime. The following authorities can make use of the unit for a domestic deployments and abroad:

  • Bundesgrenzschutz (Federal Border Police);
  • Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Criminal Investigation Office);
  • Landeskriminalamt (State criminal police agencies);
  • Zollkriminalamt (Customs Office);
  • Auswartigen Amt (Foreign Office).

A further substantial task range of GSG-9 is the training of special forces domestic and abroad. GSG-9 operators are known to have served with Special forces abroad.

By the end of the 20th century the unit was no longer allowed to handle the deployments abroad. These are now handled by the Bundeswehr (Army) Kommando SpezialKräfte or KSK. The unit has an operational strength of between 200 and 240 operators.

Raised and Disbanded

  • raised: April 17th 1973.


  • Führungsstab (Command unit);
  • Four Einsatzeinheiten (Assault units);
  • Technische Einheit (Technical unit);
  • Luk- und Dokumentationseinheit (Communication and intelligence unit);
  • Ausbildungseinheit (Training unit).


  • Hangelar, Germany.

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