In “AlpenTEX”, the German Armed Forces and the state police are training for a terrorist emergency. Actually, the Federal Police would be called in for this, but they have been specifically written out of the exercise scenario.
For two days, the German Armed Forces and the police trained in Füssen, Bavaria, to counter terrorist threats. The exercise, which began on Tuesday, was entitled “AlpenTEX” and also involves other organizations with security tasks, including rescue organizations and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief. “Germany and thus also Bavaria, along with other European countries, have been the focus of international terrorism for many years,” says the responsible police headquarters of Swabia South/West. Civil-military command structures are also to be strengthened “especially at the operational level.”
First, the participants trained in the Füssen barracks of the Bavarian Army Command, followed on Wednesday by an excursion to the Rohrkopf Hut at an altitude of over 1300 meters. According to the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior in Munich, two exercise scenarios took place in the alpine terrain around the Tegelberg mountain: Rescuing shot police officers and arresting armed perpetrators. Special police units, police and Bundeswehr helicopters as well as rescue teams and specially protected Bundeswehr vehicles were also deployed, according to the report. In addition to Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (Christian Social Union, CSU), the vice-inspector general of the Bundeswehr was also expected to give an “interim summary.”
“Fictions became bitter reality in some cases,” the police wrote on the occasion of the anti-terror exercise, adding that this could also affect “radicalized individual perpetrators.” So far, however, no such incidents are known from the German high mountains. Nevertheless, the authorities want to prepare for this with “AlpenTEX.” “The Alps and their special nature of a challenging and demanding terrain were therefore one of the decisive criteria in the choice of the exercise location,” the police headquarters said. The authorities had already secured the G7 summit held twice in the region with a similar contingent, also keeping terrorist attacks in mind.
Exercises like “AlpenTEX” have already been taking place annually in Bavaria since 2017. At the same time, the states of Baden-Württemberg, Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein have also begun such maneuvers. The background to this was a new interpretation of the Basic Law in the 2016 “White Paper on Security Policy” by the then German government.
According to Article 87a of the Constitution, the deployment of the armed forces in the interior may be permissible in exceptional cases. Their request by the federal states is stipulated in Article 35, for example in the event of a natural disaster or a particularly serious accident. The soldiers are always subordinate to the state police in this administrative assistance.
Actually, the state police could also call the Federal Police for assistance in such a case. In order to allow the German Armed Forces to take part in “AlpenTEX”, the exercise scenario has been tightened up accordingly. The forces of the Federal Police are “fictitiously tied up with their own tasks and are not available to support the state police.
Published in German in „nd“.
Image: Bavarian Police.