Swiss Army chief proposes on-call militia training

Swiss army chief André Blattmann has mooted new military service options – including on-call duty for refresher training – and outlined potential security threats.

In an interview with the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, Blattmann said situations could arise, even in Europe, that would be unimaginable today.

“Just think of the economic situation in Greece,” he said. “Suddenly a European Union state is facing bankruptcy”.

Pointing to potential instability in Europe and events that could trigger mass waves of immigration, Blattmann said there were conceivable situations where the army might need to be deployed to protect national infrastructure.

The new security policy report, due to be published later this year, will take such scenarios into account. The army is also due to release its own report which will detail possible structural changes in military service in the future.

The duration of obligatory initial training and repeat courses could change. Recruits currently undergo a block of 18 to 21 weeks of initial training, followed by six or seven refresher courses of three weeks duration. All training must be completed between the ages of 18 and 30.

Blattmann suggested that the recruitment training could be covered in a combination of shorter modules. “It would also be thinkable that instead of the traditional repeat course [in active service], an on-call system could be introduced,” he added.


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