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Mission-related training KFOR SWISSCOY and EUFOR LOT

The mission of SWISSCOY

This link leads you directly to the dates of our next training courses for KFOR SWISSCOY.

Since October 1999, the Swiss Armed Forces have been involved in Kosovo in the international Kosovo Force (KFOR) peace support mission with SWISSCOY – short for Swiss company. Up to a maximum of 195 voluntary military personnel armed for self-defence with pistols, assault rifles and riot agent dispensers serve with SWISSCOY. 

SWISSCOY's deployment dates back to the Federal Council’s decision on 23

June 1999 to participate in KFOR based on UN Resolution 1244. In June 2020, Parliament decided to further extend the mandate until the end of 2023 and to increase the maximum numbers of the contingent to 195 military. 

The 2023 budget amounts to 40.925 million Swiss francs. Currently, Colonel GS Raoul Barca serves as Swiss national contingent commander (NCC) in Kosovo. 

Peace and stability in the Balkans play an important role in the security policy of Switzerland. At present, the situation in Kosovo is stable but still characterised by volatility. The aftereffects of the conflict can still be felt in Kosovo, both at a national level and in its relations with Serbia. In recent years, relations between Belgrade and Pristina have deteriorated, which has led to a renewed increase in tensions and to incidents provoked by both sides. Against this background, KFOR remains necessary as the military guarantor of a secure environment conducive to Kosovo's development and the stability of the entire region. With its participation in KFOR, Switzerland confirms its willingness to assume its share of responsibility for stability in the Balkans. 

Shortfalls in capacity that have recently come to light in KFOR require additional support in the areas of mobility and intelligence gathering and in filling staff officer positions at the KFOR headquarters. These are tasks to which SWISSCOY has already made a contribution. 

In accordance with its mandate, SWISSCOY fulfils both multi-national and national tasks. Most of its personnel are assigned to other KFOR organisations for operational cooperation purposes, fulfilling their duties as:

-       staff officers at KFOR HQ and in the Regional Commands East and West

-       liaison and monitoring teams stationed at six locations

-       an engineer and transport platoon for the Freedom of Movement Detachment (FoMD) of KFOR,

-       a medical team

-       international military police (IMP)

-       an explosive ordnance disposal team (EOD)

-       an air transport detachment equipped with two operational helicopters of the type Super Puma/Cougar.

The EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) team and the liaison and monitoring teams (LMT) were assigned to SWISSCOY in April 2010. The tasks of the LMTs consist in collecting information in personal discussions with the people and the authorities, and passing that information on to the KFOR commander who uses it as a basis for his operational decisions. Local interpreters always accompany the LMTs. SWISSCOY comprises six LMTs, each around ten persons. Three LMTs are stationed in the south, two in the north and one close to the capital of Kosovo. Four of the LMTs live among the local people in houses in Malisevo, Prizren, Suva Reka and Mitrovica, one is accommodated at the camp in Novo Selo. Swiss soldiers are also working as a sub team of the Italian LMT Glogovac-Obilic and are stationed at the KFOR main headquarters in Pristina. 

More SWISSCOY personnel carry out both national and bi-national tasks in accordance with technical agreements. SWISSCOY NCC staff and the national support element (NSE) are tasked with resupply and return services, and with maintaining the camp premises and the vehicles. Their work ensures SWISSCOY can fulfil its tasks at all times. Purely national logistic services, contingent organisation, and personnel and disciplinary procedures are exclusively under the command of the NCC and are thus Switzerland's responsibility. 

Depending on their tasks, SWISSCOY staff are stationed at different camps. The NCC staff, the military police, the EOD team, a part of the command support company, and the medical team are located at KFOR headquarters in Pristina. The national support element, some of the command support company staff and Zubin Potok LMT are stationed at the camp in Novo Selo south of Mitrovica. The staff officers from RC East are stationed at Camp Bondsteel and those from RC West at Camp Villaggio Italia. The air transport detachment is assigned to KFOR headquarters and is stationed on the military side of Pristina’s Slatina Air Base, which is run by KFOR.