KFOR SWISSCOY

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. SWISSCOY is composed of up to 190 voluntary military persons that are armed for self defence with pistols, assault rifles and riot agent dispensers.
 

The deployment of SWISSCOY dates back to the Federal Council’s decision on 23 June 1999 to participate in KFOR on the basis of UN Resolution 1244. In June 2017, Parliament decided to further extend the mandate until the end of 2020 but at the same time gradually reduce SWISSCOY strength: In April 2018 SWISSCOY was reduced from 235 to a maximum of 190 armed forces personnel, by October 2019 it will consists of a maximum of 165.   

The 2018 budget comprises 42.4 million francs. Colonel Christian Berger is currently serving as Swiss national contingent commander (NCC) for the area of operations.

The positive development of the security situation in Kosovo has led to changes in KFOR structures and a step-by-step reduction in the number of security elements. While in the beginning, emergency aid and reconstruction after the war were the focus of the mission, current attention is on monitoring the development of the country. To meet the changed requirements the SWISSCOY contingent has taken on additional tasks.

On 1 January 2012, a Swiss colonel assumed command of Joint Regional Detachment North (JRD North) and reports now directly to the commander of KFOR. The EOD team (explosive ordnance disposal) and the liaison and monitoring teams (LMT) have been assigned to SWISSCOY since April 2010. The tasks of the LMTs consist in collecting information by conversing with the people and the authorities and passing these on to the KFOR commander who uses these reports, amongst other, as a basis for operational decisions. A local interpreter always accompanies the LMTs. SWISSCOY comprises four LMTs of 7 to 12 persons, of which two are stationed in the south and two in the north of Kosovo. Three LMTs are accommodated in private houses in Malisevo, Prizren and Mitrovica and are thus living in the midst of the local population. One LMT lives at Camp in Novo Selo.

In accordance with its mandate SWISSCOY fulfils both multi-national and national tasks. Its major part fulfils multi-national services as listed below and is for this purpose assigned to other KFOR organisations for operational cooperation:

  • Staff officers at HQ KFOR and joint regional detachment (JRD) levels
  • Liaison and monitoring teams (LMTs) at four locations
  • Medical team
  • International Military Police (IMP)
  • Explosive ordnance disposal team (EOD)
  • Air transport detachment with Superpuma helicopter. The air transport detachment is assigned to KFOR headquarters and is stationed on the military section of the Slatina airport in Pristina, which is managed by KFOR.
  • Since 14 October 2016, the Swiss Armed Forces have also been supporting KFOR with a reconnaissance detachment, in response to NATO’s decision with KFOR to invest more resources in reconnaissance.

 

The other part of SWISSCOY fulfils both purely national and bi-national tasks on the basis of a technical agreement with partners. These include the NCC staff and the national support element (NSE) for resupply and return tasks as well as for the maintenance of the camps and the vehicles. A well organised and efficient support company is required to enable the performance of SWISSCOY.

Purely national logistic services, contingent organisation as well as personnel and disciplinary punishment issues are exclusively under the command of the NCC.

Depending on their function, SWISSCOY members have been stationed at two different camps. The NCC staff, the military police force, the EOD team as well as some of the command support and the medical team are located at KFOR headquarters in Pristina. The national support element, some of the command support as well as the JRD-North and the LMT Zubin Potok are based in the camp in Novo Selo south of Mitrovica.