VDefense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) created a new high-ranking post shortly before the end of her term in office and filled it with her previous adjutant. The fifty-year-old sea captain Stephan Plath becomes “Director Special Forces”, a position that will be assigned to the operational command. The director is supposed to coordinate all special forces of the Bundeswehr. In the course of his career he was, among other things, company chief of combat swimmers and commander of the specialized naval forces. The appointment, which was first reported by the online portal “Augen straigeaus”, had not been officially announced despite its prominent importance.
However, the minister had announced the creation of the post in early summer as part of her far-reaching renovation plans for the house. This would “strengthen the advisory ability, coherence and international cooperation of the special forces” it was said at the time. The reconstruction plans of the minister and the inspector general Eberhard Zorn had recently been heavily criticized by the opposition, also because there was expected a change of office. Kramp-Karrenbauer had missed a direct mandate in the federal election. Depending on the formation of the government, she will soon give up her position.
Contrary to the promise of transparency
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Markus Kreitmayr, former head of the Special Forces Command (KSK), was noticed while driving a car with 1.8 per thousand alcohol at the wheel, according to media reports. As Spiegel Online reported, the incident occurred in early September, four weeks before the change of command. This was then held behind closed doors, contrary to the ministry’s promise of transparency to the KSK. When asked about the alleged alcohol incident, a spokesman for the ministry said: “Please understand that we are not allowed to comment on individual personnel measures for data protection reasons and to protect personal rights”.
This also concerned questions about the status of the disciplinary investigations that the minister herself had launched against the brigadier general after he had been accused of involvement in illegal activities in connection with missing ammunition at the KSK. Brigadier General Ansgar Meyer, who was previously the last commander of the German contingent in Afghanistan, was appointed the new commander of the KSK on October 1.