Swiss defence chief visits Estonia ({{commentsTotal}})

Chief of the Armed Forces of Switzerland Lt. Gen. Philippe Rebord on his visit to Estonia this week. 1 November 2018.
Chief of the Armed Forces of Switzerland Lt. Gen. Philippe Rebord on his visit to Estonia this week. 1 November 2018. Source: Siim Verner Teder, Ardi Hallismaa/mil.ee

Chief of the Armed Forces of Switzerland Lt. Gen. Philippe Rebord on Friday concluded a two-day visit to Estonia.

During his visit, the Swiss defence chief met with Estonian counterpart, Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) Gen. Riho Terras, and was given an overview of the region's security situation and developments related to the EDF, spokespeople for the EDF said.

At Ämari Air Base, the two defence chiefs also inspected the formation of units of reservists called up for the Okas 2018 snap exercise.

According to Rebord, getting familiar with the mobilisation system of the EDF and comparing it to the Swiss system was a central topic on his visit to Estonia.

"We have a very similar system; the Swiss Army is a reservist army too," Rebord said. "Yesterday we visited Ämari Air Base, where we saw the arrival of reservists and their transformation into soldiers. I was impressed by your reservists' motivation."

Rebord also met with Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Kristjan Prikk, who offered him an overview of Estonia's national defence planning as well as the country's ten-year national defence development plan. Also discussed were cooperation-related matters, including Switzerland's cooperation with NATO and the EU, of which Switzerland is a member of neither.

On Friday, the Swiss defence chief visited the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) in Tallinn as well as the headquarters of the EDF's 1st Infantry Brigade at Tapa Army Base. He also laid a wreath at a monument at the Defence Forces Cemetery of Tallinn.

Similarly to the national defence system of Estonia, the national defence system of Switzerland is based on a reservist force trained in conscript service.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla



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