Effective defence is delivered through proper readiness and effective capability development, says Chief of Defence

Effective defence is delivered through proper readiness and effective capability development,...

Chief of Defence of Lithuania General Valdemaras Rupšys is conducting the first official visit to the Swiss Confederation. He met with Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces Lieutenant General Thomas Süssli with whom prospects of strengthening bilateral cooperation, assistance to Ukraine and lessons identified in the course of the war were discussed and insights exchanged about the security situation and potential threats.

Even though the geographical situation of Lithuania and Switzerland presents different challenges, both Chiefs of Defence pointed out in the bilateral talks that the global geopolitical shifts might have significant implications to the processes in Europe and shape the potential threats.   

Lithuanian Chief of Defence was briefed on the comprehensive mandatory military service model of Switzerland, training of the conscripts and the reserve and refresher training.   

According to Gen Rupšys, Switzerland with its mandatory military service for every male citizen is an example of effective universal readiness for defence.  The country calls up approx. 20 thousand of men aged 20-24 annually to undergo 8 weeks of basic military training, the initial readiness is later followed  by regular reserve training and refresher courses.  Accordingly, up to 140 thousand of active reservists can be mobilized in a months depending on the requirement determined by the tasks set for the Swiss Armed Forces and with regard to the set response times. Conscription is tuned into the education system very well: education received in the civilian institution applies usefully in the military.  

Another topic of relevance for both sides is acquisitions and development of new defensive capabilities. The Lithuanian delegation was briefed on the artillery development plans in the Swiss Armed Forces that introduce a new platform and C2 changes.

Later Chiefs of Defence observed M109 155mm howitzer live fire Exercise Tyro Alto conducted by the Artillery Battalion of the 1st Brigade in the Simplon Pass in the Alps.

In his turn, Chief of Defence presented Lithuania’s planning on the national division formation with tank capabilities. The importance of application and implementation of the combines arms principle was underscored at the meeting: the concept ensures effective defence through a relevant synchronization and cooperation of maneuver power, artillery, air support and other components on the battlefield.   Another topic discussed was opportunities for experience exchange by delegating observers to national military exercises in Lithuania.    

Yet another theme looked into at the meeting was logistical provision, accumulation of supplies for conflict or war and protection of supply chains.  Chiefs of Defence toured the central Logistics Centre Thun and were briefed on the logistical supply model used in the Swiss military.    

The Swiss side was interested in cooperation options on information and cyber domains, areas that Lithuania has considerable experience in.   

Photo credits: Alex Kühni, Swiss Armed Forces.