Stefano Colombo

Command support chief, operations command staff

Swiss army

During Corona, we knew exactly how many soldiers were signing up and when.

Facts & Figures

March 2020

Company Facts:

Company: Swiss army

Industry: Public Sector

Number of soldiers deployed: Several thousand

Project Facts:

  • Fast response in crisis situations
  • Army mobilisation
  • Response time: 80% within 1 hour

The biggest army mobilisation exercise since World War II

During the Corona pandemic, the Swiss army had to deploy several thousand military personnel overnight. Most of them were sanitary troops drafted in to assist the health service.


On the morning of Monday 16 March 2020, the Federal Council decided it was time to mobilise.

The Swiss Army had to deploy thousands of soldiers as quickly as possible. As well as the speed of mobilisation, the number of soldiers who accepted the call and the number who declined needed to be immediately and easily identifiable so that further action could be taken without delay. For logistical reasons, the Swiss Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (VBS) decided to stagger the deployment process. It was the first time the eAlarm emergency alarm service, which had already been in use for years, had been required for a major operation and it needed to live up to the VBS’s expectations.


Using eAlarm emergency from Swisscom, the VBS managed to contact several thousand soldiers at the touch of a button via three different channels (SMS, phone and e-mail) and record their replies directly. Thanks to the integrated acknowledgement function, a positive response rate of around 80% was achieved within an hour. eAlarm emergency is a managed service for reliable alerting and mobilisation of emergency personnel, intervention units and staff. It showed the senior VBS officials exactly who was signing up when at all times, enabling them to plan this extraordinary deployment process in the utmost detail.


Multi-channel alerts at the touch of a button

Alerting units via SMS, e-mail and voice call

Reliable, highly efficient emergency alerts

Pre-defined alarm scenarios launched at the touch of a button

Real-time alarm information

Alarm recipients and their responses always under control

These products are used by the Swiss Army