Skip to main content

Local defense tested — Finland readies for the Zapad2017?

Local defense tested — Finland readies for the Zapad2017?

Readiness unit prepares to storm a building.
Finland has been busy building up the capacity to respond to the rapidly evolving hybrid threats of the modern world. The new military capabilities and the doctrines developed for the local troops, that I’ve written about earlier, are now being tested in a fresh round of local defense exercises that involve over 3500 personnel and last until 8th of September.
Leopard 2A4:s are veing refuelled at a gas station. Note the simulators in the barrels
The three exercises are organized by the major Army brigades. For the first time the new readiness units are used to support the local defense units manned with active reservists. The brigades have formed these readiness units from the conscripts serving for an extra six months and they are commanded by the professional officers and NCO:s. The reserve units were equipped and formed in the same manner that would be done in a real mobilization. Some of these units are heavily armed with equipment like Leopard 2 main battle tanks and CV9030 infantry fighting vehicles.
Farmers and CV9030s share the meter.
The local battalions are a special asset to the Finnish Defense Force. Their troops know the operating area well and they have been training in the same region they are expected to defend. The intimate local knowledge can be a real force multiplier.
In addition to the army forces Border Guard, Customs, Police, Regional State Administrative Agency (Who comes up with these names?) and Centres for Economic Development (Seriously?) will participate in all of the exercises.
Some of the army photographers are real artists-
The training scenarios will involve an array of different situations from supporting a police operation to a rapidly escalating military threat. The focus of the exercises is on the phases leading to a crisis and special emphasis has been placed to test the ability to move the available forces quickly to the scene and that all of the relevant authorities share the same situational awareness.
Engineers preparing for an anti-tank situation
Finland is also participating in the Swedish Aurora17 exercise, that is the largest military exercise in Sweden since the Cold War. Finnish contingent will consist of a naval task force, eight F/A-18 Hornets and a jaeger company form the Finnish Rapid Deployment Force.
While the Aurora exercise is a direct an open counterweight to the massive and threatening Russian Zapad2017 drill, the Finnish local defense exercises are officially not connected to the Russian threat. These Finish reserve units that are active immediately before the Zapad2017 are indeed the ones the nation relies on to protect the mobilization of the slower bulk of its 280000 men reserve army.
(All picture credits go to the Finnish Defence Force)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Quick guide to identifying the Russian tanks Part 1: main platforms and T-72 variants

As most of the western nations have reduced their inventories to a few or mostly one type of main battle tank model in their active inventories, the myriad of tank platforms and distinct versions employed by the Russian armed forces may feel overwhelming. Here is a quick guide to identifying Russian MBTs. When you come across an image (or the actual thing), follow the steps to identify it properly.



Family of the tankRussian Armed Forces currently operates, or at least storage, the following tank platforms/families: -T-55 (<2000 in storage) -T-62 (2000 in storage) -T-64 (2000 in storage) -T-72 (2000 active duty, 8000 in storage) -T-80 (2000 active duty, 5000 in storage) -T-90 (350 active duty, 600 in storage) -T-14 (20 in field testing)
So how can you identify what type of a tank are you looking at?
There are two features that can be used to distinguishing the tank families: The roadwheel placement and the exhaust ports. The older and smaller T-55 and T-62 have five roadwheels in their suspe…

9000 Tons of Steel: Russian Tank Drills in the Urals

After a flurry of rather disinformative “Tank Carousel” news from Russia the latest reportage from the Russian armed force tank exercise is much more interesting. At the beginning of August the handily named 90th Guards Vitebsk-Novgorod twice Red Banner Tank Division held it’s first divisional sized combat and live fire exercise at Cherbakul in the Chelyabinsk region.
The 90th division, that is stationed in the Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk regions, was founded in 2016 and is one of the heaviest hitting Russian formations around. It has a similar structure as the 4th Kantemirovskaya Tank Division that is part of the 1st Guards Tank Army.
The 90th Tank Division consists of the following units: •Headquarters •6th Guards Lvov Tank Regiment  •80th Tank Regiment •239th Guards Tank Regiment •228th Motorized Rifle Regiment •400th Transylvania Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment  •Anti-Aircraft Regiment •30th Separate Reconnaissance Battalion •351st Separate Engineer Sapper Battalion •33rd Separa…

A Piece of our family history: the Battle of Petäjäsaari 1940.

As a celebration of the #Finland100 I decided to write about a small but personal piece of Finnish history. A few years ago my mother asked me to find out what exactly happened to her uncle Sulo, who had disappeared during the Second World War. She knew that it had happened at the end of the Winter War in 1940, but nothing else. She gave me his full name, rough time of birth and a copy of his last letter. In that letter he wrote that he had just arrived as fresh reinforcement to a new unit.



Armed with this information I started to dig some archives and uncovered the date of Sulo's demise, only three days after the last letter was dated. The same source revealed the unit he had served in and the place of his disappearance.
Another archive hosted the war diaries of the different Finnish military units, so I dug out the diary of the 6th company of the 35th infantry regiment, that  Sulo had served in. On the very day my great uncles last letter was dated, there is actually a mention …