Grenzschutzgruppe 9 (English: Border Protection Group 9) is the elite Counter-Terrorism Unit of the German Federal Police.
The unit forms part of the German Bundespolizei and thus has normal police powers, including, for example, the power of arrest.
The GSG 9 is based in Sankt Augustin-Hangelar near Bonn. GSG 9 consists of three main sub-groups, plus a number of support groups:
* Regular operations
The first sub-group of the GSG 9 is used for regular land-based counter-terrorism actions. This may involve cases of hostage taking, defusing bombs, kidnapping, terrorism or extortion. The group may also be used to secure locations, neutralize targets, sniping and tracking fugitives.
* Maritime operations
The second sub-group of the GSG 9 is used for operations at sea, for example the hijacking of ships or oil platforms.
* Airborne operations
The third sub-group of the GSG 9 is used for airborne operations, including parachuting and helicopter landings.
* Operations staff
Handles the administration of GSG 9.
* Technical unit
This unit supports other units in gaining entry to target areas and is responsible for the procurement, testing and issuance of non-weapon equipment. The members of the technical unit are also explosive ordnance disposal experts and they are cross-trained in direct action operations. They are trained in the rendering safe and disposal of improvised explosive devices.
* Training unit
This unit trains existing members, selects recruits, and trains new members.
GSG 9 is deployed in cases of hostage-taking, kidnapping, terrorism and extortion. The group may also be used to secure locations, neutralize targets, track down fugitives, and sometimes conduct sniper operations. The unit is very active in developing and testing methods and tactics for these missions. The group may provide advice to the different states of Germany, ministries or international allies. The group assists the Bundespolizei and other federal and local agencies on request.
From 1972 to 2003, they reportedly completed over 1,500 mission discharging their weapons on only five occasions.
Germany offered to render assistance to India in the wake of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. GSG 9 helped train and upgrade the National Security Guards, the primary Indian counter-terrorism unit.
SELECTION & TRAINING
Members of the Bundespolizei and other German police services with at least two years of service can apply for the selection process of the GSG 9. The test has the following:
* Medical examination
* Psychological examination
* Physical tests, which includes 5000 m run, 100 m sprint, jump, chin-ups, bench press and obstacle course
* Marksmanship test with duty pistol and submachine gun
The subsequent 22-week training period includes thirteen weeks of basic training and nine weeks of specialized training. The identity of GSG 9 members is classified as top secret. Further training often involves co-operation with other allied counter-terrorism units like Israel’s Yamam and India’s National Security Guards (NSG).