Swiss military tests defences against invasion

The military exercise involved close cooperation with the police. © Keystone / Ennio Leanza

Some 5,000 soldiers and scores of armoured vehicles are winding down Switzerland’s largest military exercises since 1989.

This content was published on November 28, 2022 minutes

The ‘PILUM 22’ war games have been taking place in Switzerland over the last week against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But army high command played down the significance of the Ukraine war, pointing out that the exercises were planned two years’ ago.

Four mechanised battalions, along with a logistics battalion and a mountain infantry troop, started the training exercise on November 22. Other formations that participated in the exercise included an electronic warfare group and a Special Forces Command detachment.

The army wanted to evaluate its capacity to defend the country and its inhabitants in case of armed conflict. The exercise simulated a land attack from the north, through Basel.

Military top brass said on Monday that the exercises had been positive overall but commented that the armed forces could improve radio communication over different terrains.

The pacifist group ‘Switzerland Without an Army’ criticised the large-scale exercise as “absurd”, saying energies and resources would have been better directed at solving an even greater threat – climate change.

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