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Army local defence exercises strengthen inter-agency cooperation and readiness

Publication date 25.8.2021 13.41
Press release
Viranomaisia paikallispuolustusharjoituksessa

From 3 to 11 September 2021, the Finnish Defence Forces will train tasks of local defence across Finland. Apart from the Finnish Defence Forces, the exercises will also be participated by several agencies and organisations. Undertaking training strengthens local defence readiness in responding to rapid changes in the security situation, and develops inter-agency cooperation between authorities in disturbance situations.

Organised across Finland, the altogether five local defence exercises will be participated by circa 5,500 personnel in total. The exercises will involve service personnel, reservists, and conscripts of the Finnish Defence Forces, as well as representatives from the participating agencies and organisations. 

Wartime units utilised for local combat and support missions, the local units are composed of active reservists with solid knowledge of their own area of operation, and salaried personnel of the Finnish Defence Forces with equipment and training according to task. Local units carry out missions as tasked to secure society’s vital functions in all situations, and to prevent disturbance situations from spreading in wider areas. The tasks of the local units include mobilisation of troops and service support, versatile combat tasks, area surveillance, and target protection, as well as cooperation with authorities and municipalities.

– Highly diverse and demanding, the local troops’ tasks require local knowledge, extensive competence in inter-authority cooperation and modern operating environment as well as capability for versatile combat tasks. All tasks also strongly presuppose reservists’ broad-based civilian competence on the local level. The reservists play a major role in the operating of the local troops, Deputy Chief of Staff Army Operations Brigadier General Tero Ylitalo says. 

In conjunction with the local defence exercise of the northern area, training undertaken will include measures for pre-prepared construction, such as construction procedures relating to force protection and cover. During 2022, the Army brigade-level units will draw up lease contacts with private property and landowners relating to pre-prepared construction training. The contracts equal letters of intent that enable military training in the specified localities as separately agreed. Valid for a fixed term, concluding a contract is voluntary. 

The local defence exercises are in accordance with the Finnish Defence Forces’ Action Plan. The Army exercise activity is based on emergency situation duties and development of units’ capability and competence. The local defence exercises will be visible in urban areas with a high number of military vehicles on the move. Part of the exercises will involve flight activity. The exercise troops will use blank ammunition that do not pose a threat to bystanders but will cause some noise. 

The exercises follow the recommendations by the government and Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare for sequestration of the coronavirus pandemic. The exercises’ implementation will also account for the Finnish Defence Forces’ national, regional and local restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic. The brigade-level unit organising a given exercise will instruct the reservists arriving at an exercise on the protection measures. Reservist, attend an exercise only when healthy! In case with symptoms or ill before an exercise, please contact your own Regional Office without delay.

Local defence exercises in the autumn

Pohjoinen 2/2021 (Kainuu ja Lappi 2021)

  • exercise time: 3.–10.9.2021
  • exercise area: Kainuu, Lapland
  • number of troops: c. 1,400 personnel
  • number of vehicles: c. 180 vehicles
  • participating authorities: Police, Finnish Border Guard, Rescue Department, Kainuu Social Welfare and Health District, City of Kajaani, Lapland Hospital District, North Finland Regional State Administrative Agency, Lapland Regional State Administrative Agency, North Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
  • Exercise Director: Colonel Jukka Kotilehto
  • Exercise PIOs: Satu Hujanen (Kainuu), tel. +358 299 451 113, [email protected], and Taina Pirinen (Lapland), tel. +358 299 452 346, [email protected]

Kehä 2/2021

  • exercise time: : 5.–10.9.2021
  • exercise area: Capital city area
  • number of troops: c. 500 personnel
  • number of vehicles: c. 150 vehicles 
  • participating authorities: Police, Rescue Department 
  • Exercise Director: Colonel Vesa Laitonen
  • Exercise PIO:  Lotta Laaksonen, tel. + 358 299 421 233, [email protected]

Rauma 2021

  • exercise time: 3.–11.9.2021
  • exercise area: Southwest Finland, Satakunta, Ostrobothnia
  • number of troops: c. 900 personnel
  • number of vehicles: c. 180 vehicles
  • participating authorities: Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Rescue Department, West Finland Coast Guard District, Customs, Satasairaala Hospital, City of Rauma
  • Exercise Director: Lieutenant Colonel Aki Mustonen
  • Exercise PIO: Sampo Collander, +358 299 443 304, [email protected]

Etelä-Kymi 2021

  • exercise time: 4.–10.9.2021
  • exercise area: Kymenlaakso
  • number of troops: c. 2,200 personnel
  • number of vehicles: c. 180 vehicles
  • participating authorities: Finnish Border Guard, Gulf of Finland Coast Guard District, Police, Rescue Department, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Kymenlaakso Social Welfare and Health District, Customs, City of Hamina, City of Kotka, City of Lappeenranta
  • Exercise Director: Colonel Petri Olli
  • Exercise PIO: Päivi Visuri, tel. + 358 299 431 107, [email protected]

Kanta-Häme 2021

  • exercise time: 4.–10.9.2021
  • exercise area: Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme, Pirkanmaa, Central Finland  
  • number of troops: c. 570 personnel
  • number of vehicles: c. 90 vehicles
  • participating authorities: Häme Police, Kanta-Häme Rescue Department, Kanta-Häme Hospital District, Häme Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
  • Exercise Director: Colonel Oula Asteljoki
  • Exercise PIO: Kirsi Lehto, tel. +358 299 442 414, [email protected]