Hannes Gulnbrein, longtime head of the EKO-Cobra, will retire with the rank of general – Interior Minister thanks top officials for their tireless efforts
Vienna (OTS) – General Hannes Gulnbrein will be stepping down from his position as head of the Cobra task force (EKO) in a few days and will be retiring. Gulnbrein was involved in a number of high-level assignments during his career and also represented the EKO to the outside world countless times. The EKO Cobra is part of the superior Directorate for Special Forces (DSE).
“Hannes Gulnbrein has embodied the virtues of the police and the Cobra task force internally and externally for many years,” said Interior Minister Gerhard Karner on February 21, 2023 in Vienna on the occasion of Gulnbrein’s promotion from major general to general. “I thank him for his tireless commitment to the safety of the Austrian population and wish him the very best for the future.”
Franz Ruf, Director General for Public Safety, added: “General Hannes Gulnbrein was a central part of the DSE management team. A professional and internationally recognized anti-terrorist unit like the Cobra only exists with such leaders. He is a role model.”
The director of the DSE, Bernhard Treibenreif, added: “Throughout his career in the police force, Hannes Gulnbrein always had the police as a whole in mind. Some reforms and further developments in tactical intervention bear his signature. I particularly appreciate his democratic attitude, his knowledge of human nature and his seriousness and thank my long-time companion for his determination in action, for his sensitivity in tricky decision-making situations and for his unrestricted commitment”.
Career of an exceptional police officer
Born in 1958, the top officer joined the Federal Police Headquarters in Vienna in 1983 before becoming commander of the Cobra Vienna task force in 2005 after a number of career stops. Thanks to his professional expertise and international contacts, the enthusiastic sportsman and family man has been involved in numerous foreign assignments. Among other things, he acted as an advisor to the chief negotiator of the foreign office in the kidnapping case of two Austrian citizens who had been kidnapped by the Al-Qaeda in 2008 and was instrumental in the release of the hostages.
Gulnbrein also played a central role in the 2020 terrorist attack in Vienna as a member of the task force of the Vienna State Police Headquarters and performed essential coordination work. “Hannes always keeps an overview in such situations and stays calm,” is how a companion describes the recipient of the “Great Medal of Honor”, who has already been awarded several times for his services, and who has already set a new goal for his retirement: the Way of St. James.
Questions & contact:
federal Ministry of Internal Affairs
Division I/C/10 Public Relations
Herrengasse 7, 1010 Vienna