The Swiss Air Force Professional Aviator Corps

The permanent Surveillance Wing was established by Federal Council decree on 28 May 1941, with the main task of guaranteeing neutrality in Swiss Air Space. At the end of 2005, the Surveillance Wing, rich in history and tradition, was disbanded with the introduction of air base structures as part of the armed forces reforms and transformed into the Professional Aviator Corps. However, the spirit of the Surveillance Wing has lived on in the hearts of its professional military aviators - essential if they are to meet the great challenges of an unpredictable future.

Logo BFK

As part of restructuring, the units of the aviation and air base organisations were divided between operations and training, and the squadrons were placed under the control of the air base commands for all operational purposes. The pilot school remained with Flight Training Unit 31 and continues to provide basic training for prospective military pilots. In order to maintain smooth air force operations, the officers from the various technical services and the Surveillance Wing’s staff sections were assigned either to the Air Force Staff or to the Air Force Operations Staff.

The Professional Aviator Corps was created to take account of the special status of professional aviators (pilots and operators), above all in training matters. The chief of the corps, which is not a military unit, is responsible for supporting the professional aviators in career and training matters. It is his task to ensure that crews can carry out their duties in the cockpit and at their "flying" desks under the best possible conditions. Basic training, advanced training, career guidance, career models, regulations, personnel coordination, supervision of flight performances – these are his key tasks. In their daily routine, professional aviators are led by their line managers in accordance with the organisational chart.

Bringing all the professional aviators spread throughout the air force together in the new Professional Aviator Corps should also make it possible to preserve the aircrews' special culture and esprit de corps. Even though the air force is now differently organised, the professional aviators' tasks have remained largely unchanged and some of the Surveillance Wing's guiding principles from December 1996 definitely still apply:

  • As professional military unit ready for immediate deployment, we fly to win; we make calculated use of our skills and resources.
  • We attach great importance to teamwork and pursue a common cause rather than prestige.
  • Our work environment is characterised by responsible behaviour, openness, and objective directness in dealing with each other.
  • We deal flexibly and purposefully with unexpected and surprising events. Our actions are characterised by a high level of performance.

 

Our guiding principles are not about organisational forms, official channels, structures and processes. They focus on values like team spirit, responsible behaviour, openness, objective directness in dealing with each other, and dedication to achieving our goals. Our professional aviators remain committed to these values despite the fact that the Surveillance Wing has been disbanded. An important sign of our commitment is our emblem, the same as the old Surveillance Wing emblem, only the name has changed.

Verbandsabzeichen Luftwaffe

Chief of the Professional Aviator Corps

Chief of the Professional Aviator Corps, Colonel EMG Felix Stoffel

Colonel EMG Felix Stoffel

Swiss Air Force Professional Aviator Corps
Air Base
CH-1530 Payerne
Tel.
+41 58 466 21 11

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Swiss Air Force

Professional Aviator Corps
Air Base
CH-1530 Payerne

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