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Army on the ball at Euro 2008

Up to 15,000 Swiss army personnel will be called up to help manage European championship football matches in Switzerland in June.

It will be the armed forces’ largest recent deployment, with duties ranging from logistical support to aerial surveillance and guarding public buildings.

Around 1,000 members of the armed forces will provide support for the construction and dismantling of facilities before and after the matches. Another 10,000 will be deployed in the host cities of Basel, Bern, Geneva and Zurich.

It will be up to the civil authorities to decide where the extra manpower is best allocated, mainly for security tasks in cooperation with the police, but military staff will not take over policing duties.

The aim is to ensure the tournament runs smoothly. Up to 5.4 million football fans are expected to follow the tournament in Switzerland, including 1.4 million from abroad.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR