How does a country strengthen its military

Federal Council strengthens international cooperation in military training with Estonia and the USA

The Federal Council

Bern, April 16, 2020 - At the meeting on April 16, 2020, the Federal Council approved bilateral agreements in the field of military cooperation with Estonia and the USA. The Swiss Armed Forces are interested in these opportunities for cooperation, as the training and exercise opportunities in Switzerland are limited for certain areas. Estonia and the USA can also take advantage of training opportunities in Switzerland; each side bears the costs of this cooperation itself.

The Swiss Army is already working with a number of foreign armed forces on military training. Reasons for this interest in cooperation are factors such as technical progress, the limitation of one's own resources, the geography and dense settlement in the Central Plateau, the exchange of experience and know-how and the review of one's own level of training.

From the point of view of the armed forces, Estonia has systems, experience and knowledge in selected areas that are of interest. Specifically, this concerns, among other things, mobilization, the structuring of compulsory service and cyber defense, which Estonia has been working on intensively since a cyber attack in 2007. Estonia, for its part, is interested in training opportunities in the mountains.

In the case of the USA, the new agreement improves the legal status of the staff in the respective host country for the existing training cooperation. As in the case of Estonia, cooperation here is limited to the area of ‚Äč‚Äčtraining; Joint assignments are expressly excluded.

Switzerland has already concluded military training agreements with a number of other countries. These agreements are in conformity with neutrality and can be terminated by Switzerland at any time.

Address for queries

Lorenz Frischknecht
Deputy Head of Communication / Spokesperson VBS
+41 58 484 26 17


The Federal Council

General Secretariat of the DDPS

Defense group