The Wachbataillon (full name: "Wachbataillon beim Bundesministerium der Verteidigung (WachBtl BMVg)" (Guard battalion at the Ministry of Defence)) is the German Bundeswehr's elite drill unit. The Wachbataillon is the largest battalion of the German forces with about 1,800 soldiers, split in two garrisons in Berlin and Siegburg. It consists of nine companies (see list below) and belongs to the "Streitkräftebasis" (Joint Service Support Command) of the Bundeswehr. The soldiers of the Wachbataillon often refer to themselves as "Protter" or "Protokollsoldaten", meaning protocol soldiers.
In addition the Wachbataillon executes the Großer Zapfenstreich on special occasions (for example on the 50th anniversary of the Bundeswehr in front of the Reichstag in Berlin on the night of October 26, 2005) or takes part in (inter)national events like the ceremonial oath of the Bundeswehr ceremony, parades and shows with its drill team which is the best trained special unit of the battalion.
A secondary mission is to perform (ceremonial) guard duty at the Ministry of Defence and other high profile public places and protect and guard the members of the German government and the Ministry of Defence.
An additional secondary mission is securing and defending the alternate seat of the federal German government in conjunction with forces of the Federal Border Guard. As a direct attack on Germany is no longer an urgent threat since the end of the Cold War, that mission has become somewhat obsolescent.
During normal day duty the battalion uses the G36 rifle and other kit like the other units of the Bundeswehr. The 1st company is the last unit in the Bundeswehr using 6 Feldhaubitze 105 mm guns in the role of salute guns.
|Company||Duty of company||stationed in|
|1./WachBtl BMVg||Staff company||Berlin|
|2./WachBtl BMVg||Drill- and guard company||Berlin|
|3./WachBtl BMVg||Drill- and guard company||Siegburg|
|4./WachBtl BMVg||Drill- and guard company||Berlin|
|5./WachBtl BMVg||Drill- and guard company||Berlin|
|6./WachBtl BMVg||Drill- and guard company||Siegburg|
|7./WachBtl BMVg||Drill- and guard company||Berlin|
|8./WachBtl BMVg||Drill- and guard company||Berlin|
|9./WachBtl BMVg||Guard company||Berlin|