Building Confidence and Experience : 14th Orientation Course for Defence Attachés and Senior Officials successfully closed in Geneva

Participants in Geneva Participants in Geneva GCSP
11 Mar

The Defence Attaché Course (Geneva) is a practical course organized by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). The aim of the course is to develop the skills and expertise of defence officials working in a multilateral environment (such as Defence Attachés) in the various aspects of international security; providing them with practical training in national and international procedures as well as other areas relevant for their future work. In addition to, the aim of the course is to familiarise participants with work in a multilateral and multicultural environment.


The course began in Geneva on Monday, March 5th. 33 participants from 28 nations visited the ICRC and got briefings on international Geneva. Thanks to the Swiss Air Force, they flew from Geneva to Spiez, in the Bernese Oberland.


From Tuesday to Thursday, the group was hosted by the NBC-EOD competence centre of the Swiss Armed Forces. Between challenging lectures and exercises, they discovered historical landmarks. During an exemplary DA tour, they visited the famous Spiez Laboratory. This institution, a division of the Federal Office for Civil Protection, is the Swiss Federal Institute for NBC-Protection. Furthermore, they witnessed the basic training of militia conscripts and experienced the Nuclear, Bacteriological, and Chemical (BNC) detection systems.


On Friday, the participants returned to Geneva to get their certificates. On the way to the GCSP, they stopped in Bern, where they interacted with DAs and Ambassadors during panels.

Amongst the many speakers, the participants could interact among others with Spiez Mayor, Ms Jolanda Brunner,  Ambassador Anton Thalmann, former Swiss Ambassador in the United Kingdom, H. E. Mr Magnus Hartog-Holm, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Dr Marc Cadisch, director Spiez Laboratory, Brigadier General Stefan Christen, commandant of the Swiss Engineer / Rescue / NBC Training Unit, Colonel (GS) Niels Blatter, commandant NBC-EOD competence centre, as well as his Deputy, Colonel Christophe Baumberger.

This course is part of GCSP Defence and Diplomacy (D&D) cluster courses. It was led by D&D cluster leader Colonel Urs Amiet, Col (ret) André Zumstein, assisted by Mr Thierry Randon.

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