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The armed forces base was set up in October 2000 as an independent military organizational area. Your task: bundling central and cross-sectional tasks. Without the armed forces base, operations by the Bundeswehr are no longer conceivable today.

With a deployment order dated October 1, 2000, the Armed Forces Base (SKB) was put into service as a new organizational area of ​​the Bundeswehr in Cologne. As a joint venture between the Army, Air Force and Navy, it literally formed a basis for the armed forces and brought together a large part of the joint armed forces skills required for operations and basic operations, including logistics, NBC defense and military police.

20 Jahre SKB: Die Geschichte der Streitkräftebasis
The coat of arms of the armed forces base
shows the bundling of tasks
of the army (green), the air force
(Yellow) and navy (blue) in
der SKB (red), graphic: SKB

"Long before the decision to set up the SKB, ideas for merging supporting functions were considered and partially implemented in the Bundeswehr," recalls retired Vice Admiral Bernd Heise, the first inspector of the SKB. "From the end of the 50s to the end of the 60s, the independent territorial defense command for TSK joint territorial defense existed."
These ideas only became concrete 40 years later when the security situation in Europe changed. In May 2000, the “Common Security and Future of the Bundeswehr” commission, headed by the former Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker, recommended the merging of joint armed forces tasks in order to increase the sustainability and efficiency of the armed forces and to cut costs considerably. The SKB not only became a pioneer, but also an engine for the transformation of the Bundeswehr.
"The central military area was initially taken over unchanged", reports the first inspector of the SKB and continues: "For everything else, our creativity was required to pour the fundamental political decisions into sustainable structures. We were given an upper limit of 50,000 military and 20,000 civilian posts. These posts were of course at the expense of the three TSK, which at the same time curtailed their independence in a number of tasks and created new interfaces. Reservations and misunderstandings were not entirely absent. "
In terms of leadership, the armed forces base initially relied on the new armed forces support command (SKUKdo) in Cologne and the armed forces office (SKA) in Bonn. As the national territorial command authority, the SKUKdo managed the military area commands I to IV as well as the forces and facilities directly related to operations: logistics, command support, electronic warfare, operational information, military police, munitions disposal, and the construction and operation of a field camp. The SKA was primarily responsible for training and certain functions: schools, academies, universities and offices with special tasks, e.g. the verification of disarmament measures, the military attaché staffs and the Bundeswehr's foreign services.

20 Jahre SKB: Die Geschichte der Streitkräftebasis
Construction of new containers in Camp Marmal. Camp Marmal is the largest armed forces camp in northern Afghanistan / Mazar-e Sharif. Photo: PIZ Mazar-e-Sharif

The force base in their first missions

From the beginning, supporting and supplying the Bundeswehr's contingents was one of the SKB's main tasks, which presented them with major challenges, particularly in the case of quick initial operations, such as in 2002 at ISAF or 2006 at EUFOR RD Congo. The SKB itself initially lacked the necessary equipment, as the first inspector explains:
"A particular concern for me was the protection of my own troops. The SKB lacked, among other things, protected vehicles. In competition with legitimate concerns of the army, however, it was possible to gradually implement the necessary initial equipment with special vehicles for the SKB and the medical services. "
Since it was founded, the SKB has been supplying the Bundeswehr contingents with everything they need every day and around the world. Since then, it has no longer been possible for the Bundeswehr to be deployed without the participation and support of the SKB. An average of 20 to 25 percent of the deployment contingents are provided by SKB units.
But the operational command and command of operations special forces in Geltow near Potsdam as well as the command of operational management of intervention forces (since 2013 multinational command of operational command) in Ulm belonged to the SKB for the first ten years. They led troops from all branches of the armed forces and military organizational areas, which were then directly subordinate to the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr.
Retired Vice Admiral Bernd Heise recalls:

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