Insignia of German Navy Flotilla 1

Flotilla 1

This formation specializes in operations in coastal regions, with corvettes, submarines, minehunters and naval infantry.


Flotilla 1 – in German “Einsatzflottille”, literally operational flotilla – is one of the three major formations of the German Navy. It includes the corvettes, submarines, reconnaissance ships and minehunters as well as the naval infantry and the special forces of the Navy. In addition, the Flotilla has supply ships that ensure that corvettes, minehunters and submarines have a high sea endurance.

They are all formations that specialize in military operations near the coast: the littorals. Because of Germany's geographical location, the Navy has extensive experience in such operations in coastal waters and so-called marginal seas. For shallow and narrow sea areas such as the North and Baltic Seas, small, maneuverable vessels are required.

On the border between sea and land

Corvettes control the littoral zone right up to the shore, submarines operate undetected as reconnaissance vessels or, if necessary, fight against enemy submarines and ships. Mine hunting vessels protect sea routes against sea mines. The Sea Battalion, the naval infantry of the Bundeswehr, is there for missions that cross the borders between sea and land. The Naval Special Forces Command is the only one in the Bundeswehr that has the ability to conduct special operations from the sea. So-called fleet service boats make an important contribution to reconnaissance – for the Navy and also for the decision-makers of the federal government.

The main task of Flotilla 1 is to make these special maritime capabilities available to the Bundeswehr. The staff of the Flotilla, together with the subordinate squadrons, ensures that this operational readiness is planned, organized. And that the around 4,500 men and women of the formation are trained for it.


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1st Corvette Squadron

Vessels of the 1st Corvette Squadron control open seas and littorals right up to a coastline. And their main armament has a big punch: the RBS15 Mk3 sea-to-sea and sea-to-land missile.


1st Submarine Squadron

The 1st Submarine Squadron leads the hunters of the deep, the silent service of the Navy. Also, the Bundeswehr's reconnaissance ships are part of the formation.


3rd Mine Counter-Measures Squadron

The fight against sea mines is something for specialists: the mine hunters from Kiel clear sea routes for shipping.


Support Squadron

The tenders of the Support Squadron supply the vessels of Flotilla 1 at sea. They also accomodate specialists: technicians, medical personnel, and military staff.


Navy Special Forces Command

This special operations formation comprises the Navy’s frogmen. It is the oldest and most experienced elite force in the Bundeswehr.


Sea Battalion

“From land to sea, from sea to land” is the motto of the Sea Battalion. Its soldiers are the Bundeswehr’s naval infantry.


Submarine Training Centre

The Submarine Training Centre is part to 1st Submarine Squadron. From cook to captain – anyone who wants to sail in a German submarine must have been here.


Naval Base Commands Flotilla 1

The Naval Base Commands Eckernförde, Kiel, and Warnemünde are the logistical hub for the flotilla and responsible for the operation of its Baltic Sea harbours.


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