The clumsily-named "Evidence-gathering and Arrest Unit Plus" (BFE+) will support the existing elite anti-terror group GSG 9 in the event of a terrorist attack.
Its 50 officers – who will be boosted to 250 next year - will join in hostage rescues and other "tough situations", Federal Police chief Dieter Romann said.
Officers from Germany's new BFE+ Federal Police unit during an exercise on Wednesday. Photo: DPA
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told journalists at BFE+'s base near Berlin that the unit was the first lesson to be drawn from the devastating attacks that killed 130 people and injured dozens more in the French capital on November 13th.
"The security services have to adapt themselves" to the new elevated level of security threat, de Maiziere said.
He added that as well as the BFE+, the Federal Police was also recruiting large numbers of new officers.