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Swiss Army - Recent History

The major military transformations, connected to the Army XXI program initiated in 2004, are still in progress. The Development Stage 08/11, the program concerning reforms for 2008-2011, was approved by parliament in 2007. The general strategy is a reduction of the size of the military while maintaining a high quality of knowledge and equipment standards. From 1961 until 2011, fundamental changes in the security situation, technical tactical developments, needs of the economy and budget cuts made necessary repeated adjustments of the army. This adjustment process continues.

Army 61
(as 1.1.1990)
Army 95
(as complying)
Armed forces XXI
(as of January 1, 2004)
(updated 1 January 2011)
of the
(legal rulings)
625 000 400 000 220 000 total
120 000 active
80 000 reserve
20 000 recruits
220 000 total
120 000 active
80 000 reserve
20 000 recruits
Target stock officers 45 000 36 000 20 000 19 800
Target stock non-commissioned officers 110 00 64 500 30 000 27 500
Effectively consisted 781 500 426 000 232 000 184 000
Rounded average of the army counting in 1984, 1989, 1992 and 1994 (deadlines each 1 March) Rounded average of the counting of the army in 1996, 2000 and 2003 (deadlines each 1 March) Rounded value from the counting of the army March 1, 2005 Forecast by 1 March 2011 (final State 08/11)
Paid service days 11 993 277
7 162 508
6 019 542
6 375 549
Large Units (AK, FF LVb, BR, div, TRP, MIL Sich, TER Reg) 39 34 25
(Loss of AK div)
Regiments / Kommandos 256 204 7 11
Divisions, battalions / squadrons 742 592 179
(active, mixed, reserve)
(active, mixed, reserve)
Army classes Active [Auszug], Landwehr and Landsturm repealed Active / reserve Active / reserve
Service obligation SDT (recollect) 20-50 20-42 20-30/34 20-30/34
Duration of services SDT (days) 330 330 (Act)
300 (Regulation)
330 (Act)
262 (Regulation)
330 (Act)
262 (Regulation)
Duration (weeks) recruit 17 15 18 / 21 / 25 18 / 21 / 25

Army 61

The army of 1961 was aimed at the threat of the cold war. It lasted more than 30 years (1962-1994) and was repeatedly improved and adapted during this time. The areas covered deep-tiered defense dispositive that the infantry defense combined with elements of mechanized warfare was characteristic for Army 61. Aviation ensured a dense air defense and support of the army from the air.

Despite the improvement of equipment and armament, a number of shortcomings were apparent in the 1980s. Gaps in the armament could be filled with a lag, but the operative tactical leadership of the Defense proved to be too rigid. The concept was geared towards a walkthrough of the opponent through the countryside and allowed little flexibility. A further and serious weakness in the face of ever shorter warning timeswas the deep starting performance of the Militia army of the late 1980s was partially corrected with the creation of alarm information.

Subsidiary operations to support the civilian authorities took place to protect events and objects (international conferences, airport security as a result of attacks, guarding foreign missions) and the follow-up disasters (E.g. floods of 1987, storm Vivian 1990). Since 1953, the Swiss armed forces provided inserts to promote peace abroad; for the time being in Korea, later also in other crisis zones (1989/90 Namibia since 1990 in the Middle East, 1991-94 Western Sahara).

Army 95

The end of the cold war fundamentally led to a restructuring of the army to improve the functionality and economic rationalization. Parts of the army, which served to support the civil authorities during increased threat or catastrophe were reinforced. But the bulk of the army was aimed at countering a massive military attack. With the concept of Dynamic Space Defense the army broke away from the extensive warfare. This resulted also in education corresponding to the respective threat.

The trend continued in the equipment and armament to reduce quantity and improve quality. Basically, the army was still based on each company having their own material. The full implementation of the Dynamic Space Defense had the procurement of extensive weapons (rocket artillery). The ability of the air force to support the ground troops had been given up in 1994 with the non-replacement of the Hunter combat aircraft, with the intention to rebuild it later.

The Army 95 introduced the term subsidiary (backup) inserts. These were previously in support of the civilian police active service resorted generally on the legal form are significant simplifications is revealed by the new legal form of assistance service. At the same time the needs of the civilian authorities increased support from the army, particularly - in particular to the security of foreign representations and to support the border guard corps. Together with the back training every two years, this led to training residues of deployed formations and displeasure in the militia.

Military disaster relief proved itself especially in the floods of 2000 (Gondo). etc.). The training infrastructure a substantial quality improvement, not least achieved, however, through the use of simulators. The involvement of the army in the peace-building was equipped at this stage, with inserts of contingent in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, as well as numerous individual missions, such as example UN observers.

Armed Forces XXI

The army XXI should consider with a basic redesign of various forces: focus on the threat landscape, needs of the economy, accelerating the technical tactical development and the elimination of defects in the Army 95 (such s biennial refresher courses). Key features of the Army XXI were multifunctionality, modularity (formation of operational units for the each task), tiered readiness and interoperability. New the clearly pronounced need of a generation to ward off a military attack, was reversed but also higher willingness for inserts from the stand, based on professional military (especially military security) and through conscripts who complete their military service at a time. What was new was also the distinction between active and reserve formationen. The principle of unit equipment was abandoned for financial reasons: the associations were given their material and their vehicles from a pool.

The concept of dynamic space defense was retained with a greatly reduced force approach. The Territorial Infantry associations formed in Army 95 have been resolved in terms of functionality. Gaps in civil security instruments would be covered with subsidiary operations of the army. The concept of security, a response to stabilise rungsbedrfnisse with increased threat is being searched. The international cooperation would be allowed through interoperability.

Subsidiary operations continued to form the base load of military operations. The extensive support of the civilian police force in protecting foreign missions continued, but 2010 a shift emerged off of troops to the professional staff of the military security and through conscriptss. From 2004-2007 more than 160 support zungsgesuche of the ten cantons of all parts of the country for emergency aid received in the army. Promoting peace was consolidated at this stage quantitative and commuted on a stake with approximately 270 members of the army in various conflict areas.

Development Step 2008/11

With the stage of growth 2008/11 the focus even more on the true likely risks, namely on subsidiary support of the civil authorities. They remained essentially unchanged from the Army XXI army services to be rendered. The ability to fend off an militry specific attack has been reduced even further. The reason lay in the development of the threat and the financial resources. The relief programs in 2003 and 2004 had cuts of several 100 million CHF per year in military defence resulted.

Subsidiary operations, militia organizations have been relieved of guarding foreign embassies (and earlier in the reinforcement of the border guard); Formations of military security and through servant are still used. At major events in 2008 continued, for example at the WEF or the European Football Championship. The inventory reduction in the army requires even greater restraint regarding the regulation on the use of military assets to civilian and duty activities support operations in accordance with. As a consequence, the number of the tanks, artillery and the infrastructure were further reduced. The number of infantry battalions was increased, however, to ensure the required readiness. Implementation began on 1 January 2008 and to be completed on January 1, 2011.

The planned doubling of the quota for the Peacebuilding could not be implemented.

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Page last modified: 09-06-2013 16:50:48 ZULU