Building up Capability in Cooperation
In the future, an increasing number of society’s critical resources as well as support functions of land defence will be owned and controlled by the private sector.
A clear-cut division of labour implemented already in normal conditions creates the prerequisites for sustained well-functioning cooperation also in emergency conditions. Ensuring the security of supply presupposes increasing cooperation between all the actors engaged in land defence measures. In light of sustained security of supply, it is essential to ensure substance-matter expertise, availability of defence materiel and its service support, maintenance and repair in all conditions.
Readiness through Partnership towards the 2030s – Millog Ltd
Relying on partners in providing Army support functions facilitates a rapid expanding of the support system and thereby a rapid reaction capability in case of a potential military crisis developing. This readiness must be accounted for in the partners’ daily activities in order to sustain the partners’ ability to respond to changes concerning the threat with flexibility and appropriately when necessary.
As regards the strategic partners of the Finnish Defence Forces, Millog Ltd is responsible for sustained Army equipment maintenance logistics and maintenance planning both in normal and emergency conditions. The planning and implementation of equipment utilisation for training, storage and maintenance abide by the security of supply requirements set by the Finnish Army. In emergency conditions, Millog Ltd provides support for the units of field logistics by maintenance and repair services. In addition, Millog Ltd is responsible for managing its own industrial subcontractor network also in emergency conditions.
Being prepared for operating in emergency conditions presupposes that the partners participate in planning of actions and buildup of their own set organization for emergency conditions. The partners are responsible for training their own personnel and also participate in the training and exercises of the Army’s forces.
Furthermore, the responsibility of Millog Ltd also covers the identifying of the necessary Finnish maintenance actors indispensable in emergency conditions as well as defining the quotas concerning production requirements. As part of refresher training exercises, the subcontractors of Millog Ltd are trained to function in tasks and missions relating to emergency conditions. When applicable, foreign systems suppliers have been integrated in ensuring systems capability by means of maintenance agreements and, in case necessary, based on bilateral treaties.
Parts of the personnel in Millog Ltd are positioned in tasks of field logistics as well as specialist positions of maintenance, whereas the rest of its personnel remains fully reserved for the company’s own maintenance work. These specialists continue to be trained for tasks in readiness planning in order to enable them to participate in the Defence Forces’ readiness planning.
Security of Supply regarding Expertise in the 2030s – INSTA Group Ltd
The critical capability areas of the Finnish Army include C3 and network activities, reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition support, joint effects targeting as well as force protection. While emergency conditions prevail, operating cannot solely rely on expecting that critical expertise be promptly enough accessible from abroad. Therefore it is necessary to ensure that the control of expertise and determination of life cycle service span continue to remain in Finland.
In the future, systems become technologically increasingly versatile, more complex and networked in their characteristics. The most significant capability-related advantages may be exploited when the systems of different service branches can be utilized as a networked entity. Furthermore, optimal utilization of the capabilities produced by the novel systems presupposes that these systems be integrated within the already existing ones. This means that parallel to traditional maintenance expertise, technological ICT and software expertise as well as mastery of international standards become increasingly important. Apart from technological wherewithal, successfully implemented systems integration asks for comprehension of the procedures and battle concept of the Finnish Army.
The extensive life cycle service spans of systems pose challenges in the realm of managing expertise. Operational for a number of decades, particular service-of-supply-critical systems with their specific areas of expertise, for instance as regards programming languages, may be maintained only for the purposes of the Defence Forces. On the other hand, by contrast, new technologies become commissioned into service with their number experiencing a steep rise. Thus optimizing the maintenance resources available asks for active exchange of information between the Finnish Army and its partners.
As digitalization advances, the majority of devices will comprise varying types of embedded sensors. Parallel to their main use case functions, these devices also contribute by producing situation picture. In order to strengthen overall capability and achieve information supremacy, the data produced by different systems and organizations must be linked with the nation-wide situation picture. In the future, the demarcating boundaries become blurred between command and control systems and the data embedded therein. This type of conglomeration of systems is going to be complex and therefore presupposes sustained service of supply and centrally planned integration. Information integrity and security, data encryption as well as protection of privacy set prerequisites concerning specifically managed security-of-supply-critical procedures as well as sustained back-up systems.
As for the emerging technologies, especially machine learning and versatile artificial intelligence technologies are increasingly utilised in software and systems. As regards security of supply, this may pose challenges on the following grounds. First, the intelligence in machine learning tends to reside in such a mathematical construction that, examined on its surface level, gives no indication as to what it actually does. Moreover, machine learning applications rely on the environment in which they are utilized as well as on the data with which they have been instructed to operate. This means that the future entails ensuring that these said systems remain receptive to maintenance and capable of transformation in case local conditions undergo changes.
However, the commercial operator market alone cannot be expected to oversee the security of supply regarding expertise. Rather, it is essential to ensure that the critical actors remain available. If expertise becomes dispersed too widely, it will be increasingly pricey to sustain concentrated pools of expertise. By the time of transiting into the 2030s, it is likely that the systems integrator roles of security of supply have been formed around the entities of key systems, as is now the case with the outsourced maintenance and logistics functions serviced by Millog Ltd. This means that the particular organizations in question need to be specifically committed to the Army’s operating and objectives.
The companies functioning together form an ecosystem that features designated roles for each of the companies involved. Some companies cater for security of supply, the performance capability of systems, and integration capacity of the system entity, whereas others contribute by their specific expertise or represent the most recent novel technology. The most important task of a company functioning in the service of supply chain is to support the Army in ensuring secured sustained capabilities and aid in enabling new technological solutions with optimized efficiency and reliability.
In cooperation in the direction of the 2030s
A further developing partnership presupposes that all the partners share a common understanding concerning the set objectives and development of resource management. Empowering the partners in research and development activities as well readiness planning offers the grounds for understanding the battlefield of the 2030s and thereby developing own readiness as part of comprehensive total defence. Sustaining nationally high enough a level of expertise in critical technologies supports in developing the buildup of land defence structures. As capability construction is implemented in cooperation, it needs to be kept in mind that a capable Army is supported by capable partners.