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Mission-related training KFOR SWISSCOY and EUFOR LOT

EUFOR: Swiss soldiers in Bosnia-Herzegovina

This link leads you directly to the dates of our next training courses for EUFOR LOT.

On 16 December 2004, Swiss Parliament confirmed the decision of the Federal Council, to authorise the ministry of defence to deploy military personnel – armed for self defence – to the multinational European Union Force (EUFOR) for the ALTHEA mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The maximum number of personnel deployed at the same time is four staff officers and two liaison and observation teams (LOT), each consisting of eight military persons. This decision is based on international law, on UN Resolution 1575. On 16 February 2011, the Swiss Federal Council decided to expand its military support of EUFOR with a mobile training team (MTT) consisting of up to six members. With UN Resolution 2443 the mandate was extended until 6 November 2019.

The LOTs are stationed all over Bosnia-Herzegovina at known and potential hot spots. They are the EUFOR’s early warning system and closely cooperate with both the local population and local authorities as well as with the international organisations operating in the same area. LOT members always work with complete transparency and can always be recognised as members of EUFOR. Since December 2004, eight Swiss military persons have composed a LOT and are working for ALTHEA with two other staff officers. At the beginning of May 2005, Switzerland increased its involvement in ALTHEA by a second LOT and two more staff officers. Today, the Swiss LOT houses with eight Swiss nationals each are located in Mostar and Trebinje. Three staff officers and an NCO are working at the EUFOR headquarters and at the LOT Coordination Centre (LCC) at Camp Butmir in Sarajevo. There, an NCO is in charge of the logistic support of the Swiss engagement (LOT and MTT)

Since June 2011, six Swiss members of the mobile training team (MTT), specialised in small arms, ammunition and languages have been instructing the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina in ammunition and weapon storage management. In each case, the Swiss experts are on location for limited, specific training periods. The MTT continues to consist of experts from Switzerland, Austria and Sweden, three countries that provide troops to EUFOR. Switzerland operates as lead nation. The MTT is part of EUFOR‘s knowledge and capacity building mission, which is preparing the ground for the withdrawal of international peace keeping forces in the medium term.

Operational responsibility for preparing and supervising operations and recruiting volunteers is in the hands of SWISSINT in the Operations Command.

From June 2005 to September 2009, the Swiss Air Force was also involved in this mission of EUFOR: a helicopter detachment was deployed for operations and carried people and freight on behalf of EUFOR ALTHEA for a total of 2,635 flight hours. The helicopter team was first based in Banja Luka, later in Sarajevo. It consisted of two Cougar helicopters (one helicopter in reserve) with three pilots, three ground crew members and one logistics coordinator.

Switzerland's engagement goes back to a request by Great Britain (former lead nation of EUFOR). The mission of EUFOR started in November 2004 with a force of about 7,000, today it comprises about 600 persons. EUFOR replaced the NATO-led SFOR (Stabilisation Force) which, since the end of 1996, had considerably helped to stabilise Bosnia-Herzegovina. SFOR emerged from IFOR (Implementation Force), which, after completion of the Dayton Agreement in 1995, had been tasked to establish a secure environment in Bosnia-Herzegovina with 60,000 soldiers. Command and control was with NATO that had received the respective mandate from the UN. Like IFOR (Resolution 1031), SFOR (Resolution 1088) was also based on a resolution of the UN Security Council and therefore had a mandate from the international community of states to secure peace.