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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. Currently, 165 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 from 165 to 195 military (see under figure 6).

For the first time a Swiss officer, Brigadier Laurent Michaud, will assume the duties of deputy KFOR commander for a one-year period starting in October 2019.

The 2020 budget amounts to 33.65 million Swiss francs. Currently, Colonel GS Tobias Frey serves as Swiss national contingent commander (NCC) in Kosovo.

The after-effects of the conflict are still 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. Although the risk of a further armed conflict in Kosovo is low, the political and security situation continues to require the presence of KFOR in order to guarantee peace and stability.

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 order for the armed forces to meet KFOR’s new needs, the maximum number of the contingent will be increased in April 2021 from the current 165 to 195 military personnel.

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 four locations
  • a medical team
  • international military police (IMP)
  • an explosive ordnance disposal team (EOD) 
  • an air transport detachment equipped with a Super Puma helicopter. The air transport detachment is assigned to KFOR headquarters and stationed at the KFOR operated military section of Slatina airport in Pristina.

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 four LMTs of 7 to 12 persons. Two LMTs are stationed in the south and two in the north of Kosovo. Three of the LMTs live among the local people in houses in Malisevo, Prizren and Mitrovica, and the fourth is accommodated at the camp in Novo Selo.

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. In order to fulfil its task, SWISSCOY is assisted by a well-organised and efficient support company. 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 either of two 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.