Book your next event at Swiss military base

The Swiss Army is more than willing to rent out its new state-of-the-art training site for "open air concerts, circus, markets, air shows"--and to "military professionals."

Mark Rutherford
The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at markr@milapp.com. Disclosure.
Mark Rutherford
2 min read

The first of three state-of-the-art combat training centers for the Swiss Army is open for business.

The SIMUG live simulation platform for field training, located in Bure, uses laser-based simulators to enable highly realistic training exercises, according to developer RUAG Electronics (PDF).

A publicity shot from a brochure for the site. Swiss Army

The training site allows up to company-size units to deploy with their entire combined arms arsenal. Trainees are wired with laser-firing simulators, and both humans and vehicles are connected by transponders and W-LAN to a central control. Their position and status are recorded in real time to be presented in a multimedia debriefing after an exercise. Battlefield effects are produced by specially designed charge boxes.

The ever-innovative and ever-pennywise Swiss will also lease out this and other facilities.

"Not only does the Swiss Army benefit from the services," the literature explains. But "third parties such as clubs, events managers or private clients can also hire the auditoriums, accommodation, multi-purpose rooms and other installations" when these are not required by the army.

Major events such as "open air concerts, circus, markets, air shows" are no problem, according to Armasuisse, the agency in charge of booking. But in the age of outsourcing, the real market is for other "military professionals, contracted military personnel and militia officers" (PDF).

Short-term rental for these outfits may include complete training packages on the simulator-supported equipment, as well as all infrastructural and logistical requirements such as barracks, the mess hall, and classrooms.

"For effective, good training, soldiers must be able to immediately perceive the consequences of their actions and the reaction of their adversary," states Andreas Herren, CEO of RUAG. "Thanks to SIMUG, this wish has been made a reality, and I am delighted that we can enable our customers to carry out their operations successfully."

Correction: "While armasuisse is responsible for renting out some DDPS objects for major events and long-term rentals, it is not responsible for the utilisation of SIMUG by third parties."