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Self Reliance and Armed Neutrality

19 Jun, 2017 -- Seminars
Speaker: Lieutenant General Keckeis (Retd) & Lieutenant General Markus Gygax (Retd)
Venue: Ngunnawal Theatre, R1
Time: 0900 - 1030

To Australians, the Swiss concept of having a reservist, militia-style military and no full-time professional military is incomprehensible. How can they be properly trained and equipped if not engaged in a full-time capacity? How does Switzerland achieve and maintain competency and operational readiness with a Force that completes annual ‘refresher’ courses at most? The Swiss definition of self-reliance and the almost complete self-sufficiency of Switzerland based also upon armed neutrality is very unique and unlike the way in which Australia operates in our region and with global partners.
In this Air Power Seminar, Lieutenant Generals Keckeis and Gygax will provide their own unique perspective of how self-reliance can deliver high-end operational capabilities and support Allies and allegiances, from their perspectives as former Commander of the Swiss Armed Forces and Swiss Air Force respectively.

Lieutenant General Christophe Keckeis

Lieutenant General (Retd) Christophe Keckeis is the former Head of the Swiss Armed Forces. He started his military career as a Pilot in the Surveillance Wing in 1966 and soon became the Head of the Air Combat Training of the Swiss Air Force and later Chief Operations of the Air Force. He held different other functions which led him to the position of Chief of Staff of the Commander of the Swiss Air Force. In 2003, Lieutenant General Keckeis was promoted to Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces, a post which he occupied until 2007.
From 2008 until 2015, he was the President of the Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) in Geneva. At the same time, he was member of the International Advisory Board of the Center for Security, Economics and Technology of the University of St. Gallen for three years, while also being President of the Espace Passion at the Musée Clin d’Ailes. In 2009, he also was an expert for the Independent Fact Finding Commission on the Conflict in Georgia (IIFFMCG). In one of his most recent postings, he operated as Chief Security Officer of Planet Solar, a Swiss company founded in 2008 with the aim to dispense the use of fossil fuels. Lieutenant General Keckeis received decorations as Commandeur de la Légion d'Honneur from France as well as the Austrian Grosses Silbernes Ehrenzeichen mit dem Stern. Until 2012, he was a Flight Instructor with over 5380 hours of flight time. He is also a graduate of the University of Lausanne.

Lieutenant General Markus Gygax (Retd)

Lieutenant General Gygax commanded the Swiss Air Force until his retirement in 2012. He was responsible for basic readiness, training and operations of air and anti-aircraft forces, and was directly accountable to the Chief of the Armed Forces. His command responsibilities included the Air Force, anti-aircraft and command support training units as well as the operational air base commands.

The briefing will commence promptly at 0900 hours 

To register your attendance please email: airpower@defence.gov.au

Contact Info: For further information and to register your attendance, please contact: Air Power Development Centre E-mail: airpower@defence.gov.au


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