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Defence exercises Swiss army undertakes biggest military manoeuvre since Cold War

military exercise tanks

A training exercise of the mechanised brigade in 2007

(Keystone)

Around 2,000 soldiers and heavy artillery have been commandeered for a military manoeuvre in eastern Switzerland, between Lake Constance and the Säntis Alps. The exercise began on Monday and will continue until Wednesday. 

The Mechanised Brigade 4 is participating in a full troop exercise called "TRIUM". The troops will make their way to the regions of Seerücken, Toggenburg, Fürstenland and Säntisalpen. Such a military manoeuvre using heavy artillery has not taken place since the end of the Cold War, the Federal Department of Defence said. 

However, army officials said the exercises cannot be compared to Cold War style training. 

"Now it is a question of further developing the army's defence capability, including perhaps on a smaller scale. That's why we're practicing on a smaller scale," said Georg Häsler, spokesperson for the Mechanised Brigade 4. 

According to Alexander Kohli, the brigadier in charge of the military exercises, two reconnaissance battalions are competing against each other and an artillery division is involved. The emergency response will be tested on a 1:1 scale. 

Locals in the region will have to put up with additional traffic due to the manoeuvres, including military tanks. In addition, two F/A-18 fighter planes will undertake low level flights. Supersonic flights are not planned.

SRF/ac

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