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Local defence exercises to start in a number of locations around Finland

Publication date 27.8.2019 12.31
Press release
Taistelija katolla

The Finnish Army will conduct training in local defence tasks and missions by means of local defence exercises organised in South Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Tavastia Proper, Central Finland, Kymenlaakso, Lapland, Pirkanmaa, and Uusimaa from 9 to 13 September 2019. These exercises serve to develop local defence readiness and capability as well as inter-authority interoperability in rapidly evolving situations over the entire territory of Finland. Altogether, approximately 4,100 persons from the Finnish Defence Forces and other authorities will undertake training.

The local defence exercises will involve service personnel, military police companies and readiness unit conscripts as well as local units with reservists who know their own region well.

– These exercises offer us a chance to develop local units’ readiness, combat effectiveness, leading and equipment, ACOS Operations of the Finnish Army, Colonel Pasi Hirvonen explains.

The local defence exercises will be visible in built-up areas and have the Finnish Defence Forces and participating authorities conduct training in local defence tasks.

– Consisting of reservists and service personnel, the local battalions play a key role in safeguarding society’s vital functions. The strengths of the local units include solid knowledge of the set area of operation complemented by task-specific bespoke equipment and training, Colonel Hirvonen describes.

– Examples of the tasks to be trained include protection of key targets, territorial surveillance, capacity for counter-special operations forces and provision of support to other authorities. In fact, the local defence exercises provide us an excellent opportunity to train these tasks in cooperation with other authorities. While undertaking training, we identify lessons learned and accumulate feedback that will inform further development of local defence measures, Colonel Hirvonen continues.

The exercises are in accordance with the Finnish Defence Forces’ Action Plan. The exercise activities of the Finnish Army are based on tasks relating to emergency conditions as well as on developing troops’ capability and competence proficiency.

In conjunction with the exercise, blank ammunition will be used that pose no threat to bystanders but will cause noise. The exercises include a high number of military vehicles, such as main battle tanks and armoured personnel carriers. In addition, exercise-related flight activities will be part of some of these exercises.

It is possible to follow the exercises on the Finnish Army social media using hashtag #paikallispuolustus:

twitter.com/maavoimat @maavoimat

Local defence exercises summarised in a nutshell

  • Local defence exercises are organised in the Finnish Army twice a year (in the spring and in the autumn) over the entire territory of Finland.
  • Local units incorporate reservists who know their own region well. The tasks of the local units include, among others,
    • Mobilisation of troops
    • Surveillance of areas and protection of key targets
    • Versatile combat missions, such as counter-special forces operations
    • Supporting other units and local supply and maintenance
    • Supporting other authorities
  • The exercises’ aims include, among others,
    • Sharing the given situation picture with other authorities and forming a common situation picture
    • Conducting command and control, information transmission and interoperability measures between authorities
    • Operating in multi-authority situations as well as coordinated C3 activities, information transmission and reporting procedures therein
    • Exercising service personnel as well as training conscripts and reservists in local defence tasks
    • Generating readiness and defence capability as well as conducting training on a local level


Exercise areas

Exercise troops / armoured vehicles

Leading brigade-level unit

Public Affairs Officer

Kanta-Häme 19

Parolannummi - Hämeenlinna - Riihimäki - Lahti - Jyväskylä - Tampere

700 persons / 16 armoured vehicles

Armoured Brigade

Kirsi Lehto, tel. +358 299 442 414

Kehä 19


520 persons

Guard Jaeger Regiment

Mari Ukkonen, tel. +358 299 421 233

Kymi 219

Vekaranjärvi - Kotka - Hamina

1 200 persons / 10 armoured vehicles

Karelia Brigade

Jani Talvensaari, tel. +358 299 431 105

Pohjoinen 19

Rovaniemi - Kemijärvi - Salla ja Kajaani

1 200 persons / 4 armoured vehicles

Jaeger Brigade, Kainuu Brigade

Taina Pirinen (Lappi), tel. +358 299 452 111, Satu Hujanen (Kainuu), tel. +358 299 451 113

Seinäjoki 19

Seinäjoki - Ilmajoki

460 persons

Pori Brigade

Annu Porttila, tel. +358 299 443 303