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The Commander of the Finnish Army inspected the exercise METSO 16

Kainuu Brigade
Publication date 7.6.2016 19.47 | Published in English on 7.6.2016 at 20.27
Press release
Three officers observing

The regional combat exercise METSO 16, that has been ongoing since Friday, has gathered almost 3 600 soldiers to train in Vuosanka. The Commander of the Finnish Army, Lieutenant General Seppo Toivonen inspected the exercise and its units on Tuesday.

The objective of the exercise METSO 16 is to enhance the operational capabilities of the units to operate according to the reformed land warfare doctrine. It is the final exercise for many of the conscripts participating. The exercise is led by Kainuu Brigade but troops from Jaeger Brigade, Utti Jaeger Regiment, Lapland Border Guard as well as Norrbotten Regiment from Sweden also take part.

- The bilateral exercises with our international partners have received fair amount of attention lately. However, as we regard the whole, it can be noticed that we organize many exercises and mostly they are national held in Finland. Our exercise activities cover the whole Finland and they are very comprehensive, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Seppo Toivonen stated during the media day held in connection with the inspection.

The exercise area of the METSO 16 is the Vuosanka shooting and training area located in Kainuu, Finland. The wide, almost 14 000 hectare terrain meets the needs of the combat exercise as it provides the setting for training and enhancing operational capabilities in a large area.

Simulators support the training

The units participating in exercise METSO 16 were deployed on Friday. Immediately thereafter began the combat operations. The two-way combat simulator system is utilized in the exercise to support the training and create authentic touch to the combat situations.

Soldiers gathered around the back of a car

The system records and stores all events and indicates hits. Through GPS tracking a detailed analysis of the movements of an individual soldier up to the whole platoon is possible. The simulator system also displays the effects of mines and indirect fire. Through the detailed feedback given the troops and especially their leaders their performance can be evaluated and the specific areas that require improvement is recognized.

- The simulators add efficiency to the training. With the data they gather we can present the leaders how the exercise have gone and especially demonstrate the impact of their decisions, Lieutenant General Toivonen explains.

Bilateral cooperation

A mechanized infantry platoon, strength approximately 50 soldiers, participates in the exercise as part of the Finnish battle group. The participation is part of the bilateral cooperation between the Finnish and Swedish armies. The objective of the cooperation in the context of the exercise METSO 16 is to enhance the leadership abilities, cooperation between the infantry and mechanized troops as well as the interoperability of the different army branches. METSO 16 is the first exercise led by Kainuu Brigade in which the Norrbotten Regiment is participating.

Two soldiers chatting in front of a tank

- The bilateral cooperation includes, among others, the cooperation between our army units. We have found the matching units so to speak with whom the cooperation in regard to specific activities comes very naturally. I am very pleased for example with the cooperation between our northern units and Norrbotten Regiment.

So far the exercise has gone well and the troops are motivated. The regular personnel with a constant urge for development, skillful conscripts and coscript leaders as well as the efficient systems and equipment used are indeed the perfect ingredients for a successful exercise.