Wildfires in Greece: Switzerland dispatches army helicopters

Press releases, 01.09.2023

Wildfires continue to rage across Greece. In response to requests for help from the Greek authorities, Switzerland is dispatching three army helicopters and personnel to reinforce fire-fighting operations on the ground.

Numerous wildfires are currently raging in several parts of the country, particularly in the Alexandroupolis region. The Greek authorities have asked for international aid. Despite the mobilisation of several EU countries, the fires are still not contained, and Switzerland has decided to join the international effort.

On Saturday 2 September 2023, three Super Puma helicopters and Swiss Armed Forces personnel will be dispatched to Alexandroupolis. They will commence fire-fighting operations on Sunday.

This afternoon, a team composed of Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit and Swiss Armed Forces specialists left for Greece aboard a Swiss Air Force aircraft. The team will be responsible for coordinating with the Greek authorities. In all, around 30 Swiss specialists will take part in the operation.

Swiss Humanitarian Aid, which is part of the FDFA, has responsibility for the overall management of this operation. Switzerland had previously mobilised Super Puma helicopters for wildfires in Greece in the summer of 2021.

Information for journalists: A press briefing will be held on Saturday 2 September 2023, from 7.30am to 8.30am, as the three Swiss Armed Forces helicopters depart. Journalists interested in taking part are kindly asked to register with urs.mueller.mlr@vtg.admin.ch. A Swiss Armed Forces representative will be available for short interviews.

Map(png, 2782kb)

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
E-mail: kommunikation@eda.admin.ch
Twitter: @SwissMFA

Swiss Armed Forces media information
Urs Müller
Head of operational communication
Tel. +41 58 464 05 42


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports DDPS