Finnish Army readiness is developed and sustained in all situations
The Finnish Army ensures continuity and readiness of its activity in all situations. Currently, exceptional circumstances and the prevailing COVID-19 situation impose restrictions on the planned Army training activity, which has been adapted to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. Under these challenging circumstances, the Army will continue to do its utmost in ensuring that individuals’ and troops’ competences develop and that the troops meet their set training requirements.
During the COVID-19 situation, the Army continues to develop competences progressively and undertake training. The training activity aims to train capable troops and sustain readiness across the territory of Finland. In the Army, the months of May and June involve training exercises as the conscripts mustering out in June complete their training. These training exercises are also a significant measure of capability for the readiness units which transfer to readiness shift in July. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the Army has made changes to its planned implementation of training exercises in order to accommodate for comprehensive troop capability development and assessment.
The Army continues to look after the conscripts and service personnel. Training exercises are adapted to account for the prevailing circumstances to ensure security and safety of conscripts and salaried personnel. This involves organising an increasing number of training exercises as brigade-level unit-specific exercises and avoiding inter-brigade-level-unit training for the time being.
Army exercises as applicable
All conscripts currently in-training undertake the final training exercises in their given brigade-level units as unit-specific training exercises. This will bring down the number of inter-personnel encounters between brigade-level units.
On 1-5 June 2020, the main exercise of the Army, Etelä 20, will be organised in the areas of the capital region and of Eastern Uusimaa. The exercise trains the use of the Army combined capabilities. Part of the conscripts will undergo this exercise as their final competence-measuring exercise. Implemented on schedule, the exercise will involve a decreased number of participants.
International exercises cancelled and participation withdrawn
To respond to the challenge set by the COVID-19 situation, the Finnish Defence Forces has adjusted its national and international training activity. Having withdrawn its participation in a number of multinational exercises, the Defence Forces relies on case-by-case consideration as concerns the implementation of national training exercises. Although significant exercises have been either cancelled or postponed until the future, alternative training exercises have been planned or organised at home instead.
The Army cancelled the mechanised exercise Arrow 2020 that was scheduled to take place in early May. Instead, the participating brigade-level units, the Armoured Brigade, Karelia Brigade, Pori Brigade and the Jaeger Brigade, will now organise their own alternative brigade-level unit-specific exercises to ensure achieving the set national training requirements.
Also, the Army’s participation in the following international exercises has been withdrawn:
- Dynamic Front, in Germany on 2-8 May 2020
- Kevadtorm, in Estonia on 3-17 May 2020
- Aurora, in Sweden on 4-27 May 2020
Refresher training exercises discontinued until August
On grounds of the COVID-19 situation, the Finnish Defence Forces has decided to discontinue the refresher training exercises and voluntary exercises that were scheduled to start by 31 July 2020.
This is with the exception of possibly needing to order reservists into service for compelling reasons as defined by the Defence Forces.
At present, the training exercises scheduled to start after 1 August 2020 are being prepared for as planned. Any decision to cancel these exercises will be made by 1 July 2020.
The Regional Offices will send the reservists a written decision on cancellation measures as applicable.