Army Reconnaissance Detachment 10

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Army Reconnaissance Detachment 10
Active 2003 - Present
Country Switzerland Switzerland
Branch Swiss Army
Type Special Forces
Role Domestic and International Counter-terrorism, Special Reconnaissance, Direct Action
Size 30 (2003)
91 (2011)
40 (Current)
Part of Special Forces Command (SFC)
Nickname ARD 10 (English)
AAD 10 (German)
DRA 10 (French)
DEE 10 (Italian)
Insignia
Badge of ARD 10 Swiss Army ARD 10.gif

The Army Reconnaissance Detachment 10 (German: Armee-Aufklärungsdetachement 10, French: Détachement de reconnaissance 10, Italian: Distaccamento d'esplorazione dell'esercito 10)[1] is a special forces unit of the Swiss army responsible for conducting counter-terrorist activities in Switzerland and abroad. The full cost of maintaining the ARD-DDR-DEE in 2011 was approximately be 16 million francs.[2]

History[edit]

As part of the Army XXI reforms,[2] a report on October 24, 2001 to the Federal Assembly of Switzerland called on the formation of a special forces-trained unit that would be able to conduct counter-terrorist-type actions in the Swiss Army to protect Swiss nationals and soldiers living abroad.[3]

In 2003, the unit had been created with Major Daniel Stoll as the unit's first commanding officer with 30 soldiers as its nucleus with Special forces training[2][4] with its internal structure based on the British SAS.[5] In 2007, ARD 10 commandos had joined in Exercise Cold Response 2007.[2] The unit had been unveiled to the public during Army Day 2007 in Lugano from November 20 to November 25, 2007.[2][6]

By 2011, the unit has 91 soldiers in active duty.[2][6] 40 operators currently serve in the ranks of ARD 10.[7]

It is suggested that the first batch of ARD 10 operators had been given training by foreign special forces instructors.[8] They include instructors from the United States Navy SEALs, American Special Forces and the Special Air Service.[9]

There has been calls on the Swiss government to deploy ARD 10 operators to combat Somali pirates with no consensus in Parliament,[10] due to an evenly divided vote against it.[11] The planned mission called for 30 ARD 10 operators to be deployed[12] with a spokesperson for the Swiss army saying that the ARD 10 is ready to be deployed if given the order.[13]

ARD 10 operators were suppose to be covertly deployed into Libya to rescue two hostages held by Gaddafi due to the arrest of his son in Switzerland under "Operation SAKR".[14][7] Instead, they were released after constant negotiation between Libya and Switzerland with the details of the rescue operations leaked to the press.[7]

Criticisms[edit]

Critics had blasted the creation of the ARD 10, saying that that unit might conduct anti-terrorist missions that may put civilians in harm's way contrary to their mission.[15] The Zeit-Fragen, a weekly newspaper, also claimed that the ARD 10 would be a blow to Swiss neutrality,[16] saying that crisis situations involving Swiss nationals are always solved through negotiations.[15] There are concerns that the ARD 10, like all special forces, can be used covertly against politically active people instead of conducting their missions to their mandate.[5]

An article criticized the planned mission to Somalia, questioning on who should ARD 10 operators shoot as pirates when they are on anti-piracy operations since most of them are ex-fisherman and criminals.[17] Furthermore, an article from the Berner Zeitung insists that the ARD 10 deployment is not the solution, but calls for political solutions.[18]

The ARD10 was criticized for being "dangerous" when Swiss media leaked out plans to rescue Swiss nationals in Libya on June 28, 2010.[14] In addition, it is reported that 40 operators are currently active and not at least 90 as initially planned.[14] According to Albert Stahel of Zurich University’s Institute for Strategic Studies, an umbrella of the Swiss military's various special forces unit should be created as Switzerland does not have enough resources to strategically transport ARD10 operators to various places around the globe.[14]

Unit tasks[edit]

The ARD 10 has certain tasks to fulfill as part of their mandate:[2][19]

  1. Procurement of key facilities
  2. Protection of Swiss nationals, troop and facilities if endangered
  3. Securing Swiss nationals from crisis areas
  4. Direct Action
  5. Special Reconnaissance

Requirements[edit]

Among the minimal qualification requirements for potential candidates in 18 weeks, these include:[2][20]

  1. 50 press-ups
  2. 60 sit-ups
  3. 10 pull-ups
  4. 5km cross-country run in under 24 minutes
  5. 8km walk in full combat gear (15kg pack) in less than 58 minutes
  6. 25km walk in full combat gear (25kg pack) in less than 3.5 hours
  7. 300m swim in under 10 minutes

Other potential requirements include the following:[20]

  1. Good command of the English language
  2. Good command of another language aside from English
  3. Leadership skills

Candidates who must wear eyeglasses must have a visual acuity of at least 0.80 in order to be accepted.[20][21]

The Swiss Army does not institute an age limit for soldiers who wish to join the ARD 10.[22]

Equipment[edit]

ARD 10 operators are equipped with the SIG SG 552 (in-service designation Sturmgewehr 90 kurz (Stgw 90 kurz)) assault carbine attached with various tactical and night vision scopes, depending on the operator.[23] Their main sniper rifle is the Sako TRG-42 (in-service designation Scharfschützengewehr 04 (SSGw 04)).[24] The MP5SD3 submachine gun is the standard SMG used by the ARD 10.[24]

Their standard sidearms consist of Glock 17 and the Glock 26 alongside the P220 while there are reports that the SIG Pro series are also issued.[24] For training purposes, the G17T and G26T are used.[24]

Their equipment consists of knee protectors, kevlar helmets and anti-splinter vests.[23] The ARD's main light infantry vehicle is the AGF.[25]

Training[edit]

Chart on how ARD 10 candidates are selected and trained.

Potential candidates must attend 18 full months,[26] with 6 months dedicated to basic training, of special forces training after completing their compulsory service with the Swiss Army, which is then followed by 40 weeks with infiltration technique training.[27] Candidates will be assessed prior to training their physical and mental state, as well as their health if they are fit to be qualified as ARD 10 soldiers.[28][20] Candidates must also have clean records from their time after attending compulsory service.[20]

Upon ending of training, all ARD 10 soldiers are required to be on standby in case of deployment.

Over 300 soldiers who apply for a position in the ARD 10, only 10 prospective soldiers are chosen for training as ARD 10 operators.[16]

Among the specialist courses being taught to all prospective ARD 10 operators include the following:[5]

  1. Mountain Specialists
  2. Amphibious Specialists
  3. Parachute Specialists
  4. Motorized Specialists

Work conditions[edit]

All ARD 10 soldiers are allowed to have a maximum of 20 days off from active service with the unit, as well as an addition of 5 days if required.[29] Accommodations in terms of living quarters and food are taken care of by the unit itself without having the individual soldier pay. ARD 10 soldiers stay in the unit for 5 years. Efforts are underway to raise it up to 10 years of service with the ARD 10.

ARD 10 soldiers are paid, depending on their marital status and economic standing. Extra pay ranges from 397 to 5,156 Swiss francs.[30] Others are paid 4,111 Swiss francs if they have children with extra pay that includes 2,654 Swiss francs.[30] ARD 10 soldiers are also paid if they are deployed abroad, depending on the nature of their mission.[30] Soldiers are paid additionally 6.17 Swiss francs per hour for participating in night duties.[30]

All ARD 10 soldiers have insurance as provided by the Swiss military.[31]

In addition, ARD 10 soldiers are to reimbursed according to federal law with an accommodation maximum of 130 Swiss francs.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Army Reconnaissance Detachment". Shadow Spear. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Special forces unit swings into action". Swissinfo. 2007-09-05. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  3. ^ Leroy Thompson (2013-01-05). "SPEC-OPS GLOCKS". Tactical Life. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  4. ^ "Einsatzkräfte für Sonderoperation" (in German). NZZ Online. 2007-08-17. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  5. ^ a b c Stephan Fuchs. "Schweizer „SAS“ Geheimtruppe AAD 10 ist Einsatzbereit" (in German). Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  6. ^ a b "Das Armee-Aufklärungsdetachement 10 ist einsatzbereit" (in German). Military of Switzerland. 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  7. ^ a b c Jack Murphy (2014-04-09). "DRA-10: Switzerland’s Black Ops in Libya". Archived from the original on 2014-04-11. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  8. ^ "Los Rambolinos" (in German). Die Weltwoche. 2006-08-30. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  9. ^ "Army-Assaultdetachment10". Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  10. ^ "Bundesrat will Soldaten nach Afrika schicken" (in German). 20 Minuten. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  11. ^ "Schweizer Militäreinsatz gegen Piraten abgelehnt" (in German). News.ch. 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  12. ^ "Schweizer Soldaten für Somalia: 30 stehen Gewehr bei Fuss" (in German). Tages-Anzeiger. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  13. ^ "Schweizer Armee ist bereit, gegen Piraten zu kämpfen" (in German). St. Gallen Online. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Swiss special forces unit under fire". Swiss Info. 2010-06-28. Archived from the original on 2014-04-11. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  15. ^ a b "«Armee-Aufklärungsdetachement 10»" (in German). Zeit-Fragen. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  16. ^ a b "Neue Elitetruppe der Armee im Einsatz" (in German). swissinfo. 2007-11-22. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  17. ^ "Soldaten gegen Piraten vor der Küste Somalias (Mission Atalanta)" (in German). Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  18. ^ "Soldaten gegen Piraten: Schlechter Scherz oder Schweizer Pflicht?" (in German). Berner Zeitung. 2008-12-22. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  19. ^ "Einsatz und Auftrag" (in German). Military of Switzerland. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  20. ^ a b c d e "Anforderungen" (in German). Military of Switzerland. Archived from the original on 3 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  21. ^ "Brillenträger" (in German). Military of Switzerland. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  22. ^ "Altersgrenze" (in German). Military of Switzerland. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  23. ^ a b "50 Liegestützen, 60 Rumpfbeugen und 10 Klimmzüge ohne Unterbruch" (in German). Basler Zeitung. 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  24. ^ a b c d Leroy Thompson (2013-01-05). "SPEC-OPS GLOCKS, Page 2". Tactical Life. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  25. ^ "Bundeswehr: Aufklärungs- und Gefechtsfahrzeug (AGF) "Serval"." (in German). Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  26. ^ "Ausbildung" (in German). Military of Switzerland. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  27. ^ "Ausbildung" (in German). Military of Switzerland. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  28. ^ "Auswahlverfahren" (in German). Military of Switzerland. Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  29. ^ "Arbeitszeit / Ferien" (in German). Military of Switzerland. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  30. ^ a b c d "Ausbezahlte Zulagen zum Grundlohn" (in German). Military of Switzerland. Archived from the original on 30 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  31. ^ "Versicherung" (in German). Military of Switzerland. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  32. ^ "Spesenvergütung im Inland" (in German). Military of Switzerland. Archived from the original on 30 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 

External links[edit]