15 Anniversary of SMEDDS

Fifteen years ago, July 1, 1999, the SMEDDS bylaws were signed in Wangen a/Aare. They were the result of negotiations on the Balkans in view of a new mission at the Kosovo; after being active in Bosnia with an OSCE / UN lead peace support, Switzerland agreed to expand with KFOR to Kosovo from  October 1999 until today. At the moment the 31 contingent is deployed.

This significant date is worth to look back to the past 15 years and to celebrate with founders, members and friends of SMEDDS. As always SMEDDS invite for certain meetings, celebrations or parties, a number of the invited guests are unfortunately missing: at our anniversary reunion members were still on duty (Albania, Afghanistan) abroad or serving regular duty shifts with its departments or agencies.

The commander of the Swiss Armed Forces Rescue and Engineering schools at Wangen a/Aare and the nearby sophisticated training village, Col GS Stefan Christen demonstrated explicitly the new possibilities to train the troops in various disaster situations (fire, earthquakes, flooding, etc). Most of SMEDDS teams spent one or more training sessions with the canines at Wangen.

The social gathering took place at the Training Village, reminiscences, stories and sagas were exchanged and refreshed.

The cozy restaurant Oberli - close the military barracks and a well known place by almost all officers there - has been chosen for the anniversary banquet; exact the same place were 15 years earlier the bylaws has been signed.