October 4, 2007: Switzerland has formed a commando
unit, DRA10, whose main function is to rescue Swiss citizens trapped in an
overseas crisis. The unit is small, 30 men, but more operators are being
trained. Full strength of 91 is expected to be achieved in four years.
The 2006 war in Lebanon convinced the Swiss that DRA10 was the right way to go.
With no other troops capable of getting trapped Swiss citizens out of Lebanon,
the Swiss realized that their 2003 decision to form DRA10 was a good one. Swiss were simply doing what many other
nations had already done, and formed a commando unit to deal with these situations,
as well as any domestic emergency requiring men with commando skills.
Recruits were accepted from the reserve army (of
most males) the Swiss have maintained for over a century. About 300 a year have
applied, for a job that requires five years of active duty, after they have
gotten through the 18 months of training. On top of that, they cannot talk
about what they do, although it's no secret who's in the unit.