Delays and disruption on roads expected as Swiss Army exercise gets underway
From November 22 to 29, Switzerland’s army is set to undertake its largest military training exercise since 1989. Noise and traffic disruption is likely in several Swiss cantons, due to the large-scale military activity. Here's what you need to know:
5.000 military personnel involved in the exercises in Switzerland
The exercises will involve around 5.000 members of the Swiss armed forces and will take place in the Mittelland - the area of the country where most people live. For this reason, the authorities have warned that noise and traffic disruption is possible in the cantons of Bern, Solothurn, Aargau, Lucerne and Zurich.
The authorities have also set up a hotline where local residents can notify the army of any concerns by simply calling 0800 0800 85 on a mobile phone or landline, or by emailing [email protected] during the duration of the exercise. For information regarding the traffic situation, the army has confirmed that Viasuisse will cover any major movements of armoured vehicles during the event.
Exercise dubbed “PILUM22” took two years’ planning
The exercise, which has been named PILUM22, has been planned by the military for two years and is set to use the "Future of the Ground Forces" report - approved by the Swiss government in 2019 - as its basis. The event will see four mechanised battalions (armed and armoured), as well as a logistics battalion and a mountain infantry company engaged in the exercise.
According to a press release from the Swiss army, the scenario that forces are simulating involves the following: an armed conflict that has only indirectly affected Switzerland, but one where the country's neighbours have become involved. In this scenario, the military will act as if the Federal Council has mobilised Switzerland’s armed forces.
The military has asked for the cooperation of local residents during this time and calls for understanding when it comes to noise, as well as disruption for drivers in the coming days. The army will use the results of the exercise to check the readiness of the country’s defensive forces and implement changes if necessary, for even better outcomes in the future.
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