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EUFOR LOT & MTT

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, the Swiss parliament approved the Federal Council decision to allow the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport DDPS 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 any one time is four staff officers and two liaison and observation teams (LOT), each consisting of eight military personnel. The decision is based on international law, UN Resolution 1575. On 16 February 2011, the Federal Council decided to increase its military support of EUFOR with a mobile training team (MTT) of up to six members. The mandate was extended for another year, until November 2020, through UN Resolution 2496.

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

The LOTs are stationed all over Bosnia-Herzegovina at known and potential hotspots. They are EUFOR’s early warning system and closely cooperate with both the local population and local authorities as well as with international organisations operating in the same area. LOT members always work with complete transparency and can be recognised as members of EUFOR at all times. Since December 2004, each LOT has consisted of eight Swiss military personnel who work 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, each with eight Swiss nationals, are located in Mostar and Trebinje. Three staff officers and an NCO work at the EUFOR headquarters and at the LOT Coordination Centre (LCC) at Camp Butmir in Sarajevo, where an NCO is in charge of the logistic support of the Swiss mission (LOT and MTT).

Switzerland is the lead nation in the MTT. As part of the EUFOR ALTHEA mission, the MTT supports the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina in knowledge and capacity building in weapons and ammunition. From 2011 to 2019, up to six Swiss, specialised in small arms, ammunition and languages, conducted specific, fixed-term training modules in ammunition and weapon storage management. Since 2020, projects and training have focused on small arms, thereby supporting the efforts of the Bosnia-Herzegovina armed forces to reduce significantly the volume of arms and ammunition in the country in line with international regulations, and to store and manage remaining stocks safely and securely. Together with experts from the Swedish and the Norwegian MTTs, the Swiss MTT is thus preparing the ground for the medium-term withdrawal of interna-tional peace keeping forces from Bosnia-Herzegovina. 

Switzerland’s involvement goes back to a request by Great Britain (former lead nation of EUFOR). The EUFOR mission 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 with establishing a secure environment in Bosnia-Herzegovina with 60,000 soldiers. Command and control was with NATO, which 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 to secure peace.

Bosnia-Herzegovina is a priority of Eastern European cooperation, which is why Switzerland has a major interest in actively helping to stabilise the county militarily. International military and civilian presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina has been a vital prerequisite for the return of thousands of Bosnian asylum seekers and refugees from Switzerland to their country of origin.