Mission of the Joint Support and Enabling Service
Who belongs to the Joint Support and Enabling Service? How is it integrated into the Bundeswehr, and what are the mission and tasks of its staff? Questions which only a few can answer spontaneously, although during daily routine there are numerous points of contact for Bundeswehr personnel with the Joint Support and Enabling Service.
What is the Joint Support and Enabling Service?
The Joint Support and Enabling Service (JSES) is the second largest of six major military organizational elements in the Bundeswehr. It is service provider for the Bundeswehr and renders support to the other services of Army, Air Force and Navy in accomplishing their respective tasks. Its core competencies in the fields of logistics, CBRN defense, training or military police make it a key element of the success of the Bundeswehr. However, aside from this internal role of service provider, the Joint Support and Enabling Service is, above all, also much sought after when it comes to rendering disaster relief services, i.e. support in the event of snow disasters, floods or forest fires. To the outside world, it is, therefore, the most public part of the Bundeswehr together with the Guard Battalion of the Federal Ministry of Defense and the various military bands.
„Our capabilities are in demand more than ever before, both in Germany and in Europe.“
Twenty Years of Joint Support and Enabling Service
In 2020, the Joint Support and Enabling Service has celebrated its 20th anniversary. It came into being in 2000 for the purpose of pooling tasks, e.g. in the field of logistics, which previously had been accomplished separately by the services of Army, Air Force, Navy and Medical Service. All three services have been working together here under one roof for almost two decades now. Over the years, the Joint Support and Enabling Service has undergone drastic changes. Individual elements have been outsourced and transferred to organizations of their own. The idea, however, to take over fundamental tasks for the entire Bundeswehr is still valid today.
We are the Joint Support and Enabling Service
What does the Joint Support and Enabling Service do?
Through the Multinational Joint Headquarters in Ulm, the Joint Support and Enabling Service takes the lead of operations and large-scale exercises of NATO and the EU. By establishing the Joint Support and Enabling Command also in Ulm, another command and control facility is put into the hands of the Joint Support and Enabling Service. At home, it is also responsible for Bundeswehr relief operations in support of civilian organizations.
The logisticians of the Joint Support and Enabling Service supply the Bundeswehr with material, spare parts, accommodations and many other things such as fuel or ammunition. This is done on operations and here in Germany. In a totally different way, the Joint Support and Enabling Service also takes care of Bundeswehr personnel who have been hit by blows of fate, e.g. by launching the training course "Sports Therapy for Personnel with Deployment-related Trauma" or the training of officers for inclusion for the entire Bundeswehr. In the context of civil-military cooperation, service personnel of the Joint Support and Enabling Service provide the civilian points of contact with information about possible support services of the Bundeswehr.
More of security is not possible: The personal protection officers of the military police ensure the protection of Bundeswehr command personnel at the risk of their own lives. However, even the range safety personnel at Bundeswehr training areas, or the experts for ammunition storage or CBRN protection contribute to the security of service personnel in all areas of the Bundeswehr. On a larger scale, the Joint Support and Enabling Service even contributes to the security situation in Germany with arms control measures and the potential takeover of sovereign tasks in support of police forces in large-scale emergency situations.
In many fields of work, the Joint Support and Enabling Service conducts training for the entire Bundeswehr. Ranging from the driving schools to the operation of the personnel management system to dealing with the media – here you can learn a lot. In addition, the Joint Support and Enabling Service develops concepts for fundamental training contents applicable to all service personnel: ranging from basic training to predeployment training to new concepts for marksmanship training or the utilization of joint online training portals. Youth officers, who with their work in schools actively contribute to education in the field of German security policy, are also part of the Joint Support and Enabling Service.
In many cases, the Joint Support and Enabling Service is taking place in public. The musicians of the military bands located all over Germany, for example, represent the Bundeswehr in public, as do the approximately 800 top athletes in national and international sports competitions. Even the Guard Battalion of the Federal Ministry of Defense that accompanies a great number of inauguration visits of foreign heads of state is a visiting card for the Bundeswehr in public. To a distinctly lesser extent, the numerous Military Attaché Offices and Bundeswehr personnel at international NATO headquarters represent Germany and German interests in public vis-à-vis international partners.