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Local defence exercises to develop readiness for disruptions

Publication date 22.2.2022 10.30
Press release

The Army will exercise local defence tasks across Finland from 26 February to 11 March 2022. Undertaking training will develop the local units’ readiness to carry out local combat and protection missions as part of a wider defense effort, and also ensure fluidity of inter-agency cooperation in case of disruption.

Organised across Finland in the weeks 9-10, altogether six local defence exercises will be participated by conscripts, reservists and service personnel from the Finnish Defence Forces, as well as by several agencies. The local defence exercises will involve circa 3,800 personnel from the Finnish Defence Forces in total. 

Forming the core of the local defence measures covering the entire country, the local defence units’ composition comprises Finnish Defence Forces’ reservists and service personnel. Apart from enabling the use of the Army operational forces, the local defence units’ capability also safeguards mobilisation of other units, protects society’s vital functions, and prevents disruptions from spreading further.
- In local defence exercises, active reservists with solid knowledge of their own area of operation get to exercise their set missions with other units, and do so comprehensively and progressively, DCOS Army Operations, Brigadier General Tero Ylitalo says.  

The local defence exercises involve conducting close inter-authority cooperation with other agencies.
- We exercise cooperation, information exchange, as well as command, control and communications between authorities to ensure seamless cooperation in all situations. We make full use of the lessons identified in the exercises relating to cooperation development, Brigadier General Ylitalo points out.     

Exercises in all of Finland

Local defence measures will be exercised in all of Finland. The local defence exercises will be recognisable in inhabited built-up areas with a high number of military vehicles on the move. Some of the exercises will involve flight operation activity. The training audience units will use blank ammunition that do not pose any threat to bystanders but will cause some noise.

The local defence exercises are in accordance with the Finnish Defence Forces’ Action Plan and organised on a regular basis. The local defence exercises develop local units’ capability, competence and skills in emergency conditions’ tasks.  

The exercises’ implementation will account for the Finnish Defence Forces’ national, regional and local restrictions relating to the coronavirus situation. The brigade-level unit organising a given exercise will instruct the reservists and other participants arriving at an exercise on the protection protocol applied. 

Local defence exercises in spring 2022

Pohjoinen 1/22

  • Exercise date: 26.2.–4.3.2022
  • Exercise area: Rovajärvi, Rovaniemi, Tornio, Kemi
  • Number of troops: c. 390 personnel
  • Number of vehicles: c. 95 vehicles
  • Participating agencies: Lapland Police, Lapland Rescue Department, Lapland Border Guard District, Lapland Hospital District, Länsi-Pohja Healthcare District, Lapland Regional State Administrative Agency, West Finland Coast Guard District, Customs, Lappia Vocational College, City of Tornio, Outokumpu Ltd, Rovaniemi Court of Appeal, and Finavia
  • Exercise Director: Colonel Jukka Kotilehto
  • Exercise PIO: Taina Pirinen, tel. +358 299 452 346, [email protected]

Savo-Karjala 1/22

  • Exercise date: 26.2.–5.3.2022
  • Exercise area: Northern Karelia (Joensuu, Liperi, Juuka, Tohmajärvi, Kitee)
  • Number of troops: c. 335 personnel
  • Number of vehicles: c. 40 vehicles 
  • Participating agencies: Finnish Border Guard, Eastern Finland Police, Siun Sote Social Welfare and Health District, Customs, North Karelia Rescue Department, Regional Council of North Karelia, City of Joensuu, Municipality of Juuka, Municipality of Liperi, Municipality of Tohmajärvi, Municipality of Rääkkylä, Savo-Karelia District of the Finnish Red Cross, Pohjois-Karjalan Tukipalvelut Ltd
  • Exercise Director: Lieutenant Colonel Jukka Honkanen
  • Exercise PIO: Satu Hujanen, tel. +358 299 451 113, [email protected]

Kehä 1/22

  • Exercise date: 6.–11.3.2022
  • Exercise area: Eastern Uusimaa (Loviisa, Porvoo) and capital city area (Helsinki, Sipoo, Tuusula)
  • Number of troops: c. 740 personnel
  • Number of vehicles: c. 150 vehicles 
  • Participating agencies: Eastern Uusimaa Police, Eastern Uusimaa Rescue Department, Finnish Border Guard
  • Exercise Director: Colonel Vesa Laitonen
  • Exercise PIO: Lotta Laaksonen, tel. +358 299 421 233, [email protected] 

Vaasa 1/22 

  • Exercise date: 7.–11.3.2022
  • Exercise area: Ostrobothnia (with emphasis on Vaasa)
  • Number of troops: c. 900 personnel
  • Number of vehicles: c. 200 vehicles
  • Participating agencies: Finnish Border Guard, Customs, Police, Ostrobothnia Rescue department, Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland, Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Finnish Security and Intelligence Service, Western and Inland Finland Regional State Authority, Vaasa Port Authority, City of Vaasa 
  • Exercise Director: Colonel Riku Suikkanen
  • Exercise PIO: Annu Porttila, tel. +358 299 443 303, [email protected]

Etelä-Karjala 1/22

  • Exercise date: 7.–11.3.2022
  • Exercise area: Lappeenranta, Taipalsaari
  • Number of troops: c. 1,080 personnel
  • Number of vehicles: c. 150 vehicles
  • Participating agencies: Finnish Border Guard, Southeastern Finland Police, South Karelia Rescue Department, Southeastern Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, South Karelia Social Welfare and Health District, Southern Finland Regional State Authority, City of Lappeenranta, Customs, Finnish Immigration Service, Southeastern Finland National Defence District of the National Defence Training Association
  • Exercise Director: Colonel Petri Olli
  • Exercise PIO: Päivi Visuri, tel. +358 299 431 107, [email protected] 

Keski-Suomi 1/22

  • Exercise date: 7.–11.3.2022
  • Exercise area: Central Finland, Pirkanmaa, Kanta-Häme and Päijät-Häme (Jyväskylä, Tikkakoski, Hämeenlinna and Hattula)
  • Number of troops: c. 400 personnel
  • Number of vehicles: c. 40 vehicles
  • Participating agencies: Central Finland Rescue Department and Inland Finland Police
  • Exercise Director: Colonel Oula Asteljoki
  • Exercise PIO: Kirsi Lehto, tel. +358 299 442 414, [email protected] 

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