The minister of defense is responsible for Civil Defense,
through Lieutenant General Fritz Peter, chief of Civil Defense.
As of 1987, there were about 3,000 Civil Defense officers and
NCOs, who work on the Civil Defense Staff that exists in each of
the country's 15 districts, under military command. These forces
take an oath of allegiance that differs only slightly from that
of the NVA. The words "of Civil Defense" are added to all rank
designations except those for generals. The highest-ranking
field-grade officer, for instance, is a colonel of Civil Defense.
In addition to the regular personnel, in 1987 the civil
defense program included several hundred thousand civilian
volunteers, most of them women, who could be called upon if
needed. Training was conducted for three to four hours per year,
in five-year cycles, outside working hours. Basically the mission
of Civil Defense is to support the armed forces and ensure their
ability to operate in the territory of East Germany. In official
terms, the principal mission is defined as protection of the
public, the economy, vital facilities, and cultural values
against the effects of military aggression, agents of mass
destruction, and natural catastrophes.
Data as of July 1987