Austrian Armed Forces Continue to Provide Protection for Embassies in Vienna

PeopleOther ♦ Published: September 17, 2023; 16:50 ♦ (Vindobona)

To support the police and secure embassies and other critical objects in Vienna, the Austrian Armed Forces have extended the duration of their assistance mission until March 31, 2024.

A soldier from the Austrian Army patroling around the French Embassy in Vienna. / Picture: © Bundesheer/HARALD G.M.MINICH

Up to 100 assistant soldiers will continue to be deployed to relieve the executive officers, who will be significantly burdened in the coming months due to various challenges, including the current situation in Ukraine and increased demonstration activity.

For several years, the Armed Forces have already been supporting the police by protecting various properties in Vienna. Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner stressed that the support of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) continues to be guaranteed while pointing out that the Bundeswehr must not neglect its main task, the military national defense. "As soon as the BMI has completed the training of additional 'object protection police officers,' the soldiers will also return to their main task," Tanner said.

Cooperation between the army and police

Specially trained soldiers from all over the country are responsible for this security police assistance mission, supporting the executive branch during this tense time. During their mission, they are under the command of the Vienna Regional Police Directorate and are directed by the Vienna Military Command.

The buildings that need to be monitored are determined by the police, with the Vienna Military Command responsible for leading the assistance mission. Depending on requirements, the number of soldiers deployed may vary. Their powers are the same as those of the police, and they assist them in their various tasks.

It should be noted that already in 2016 and 2017 soldiers guarded certain objects in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior. The pandemic in 2020 led to the renewed use of assistant soldiers to protect objects. Now this security police assistance deployment is extended for another six months.

Austrian Ministry of Defence