Skip to main content

Military readiness during a pandemic: Finnish local defense exercises 2021


Readiness battalion with their CV9030 (Photo: FDF)

The Finnish Defense Forces have put an extra effort to increasing their readiness and capability to counter surprising threats after the Russian invasion of Crimea. This has been possible as the focus of the FDF has remained in the defense of the Finnish territory against the Russian threat and unlike the rest of the European armed forces it still maintains a reserve based army geared for high intensity warfare.


Note the environmentally friendly wooden bullets in use (Photo:FDF)

Recent report from the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) suggests that Russia still has an edge over the NATO forces in Eastern Europe. The Russian forces have the advantage of better strategic mobility, faster chain of command and superior numbers in land combat. This disparity increases the risks of a military conflict in Northern Europe. The FOI estimates that the Finnish and Swedish effort in a fight against a Russian offensive in the Baltic's would be crucial and that Russia would take action, either by using conventional forces or threats of a nuclear strike to intimidate Finland and Sweden.

The second part of the FOI report focuses on the European forces and their capabilities. It lists the Finnish combat readiness in the following table:

The amount of forces available at short notice has increased during the past five years. I have covered the changes in the Finnish force structure and training in my previous articles:

The latest round of local defense exercises was held in the middle of the Covid19 pandemic. The Defense Forces have had strict and very successful measures in place to combat the spread of the infection. Conscript units have been compartmentalized into smaller units with rotating shifts in the woods, on barracks and on vacation.


The five local defense exercises that were held in the winter of 2021 were:

Lapland and North Ostrobothnia 2021

Exercise time:  26.2.-5.3.2021

Exercise area: North Ostrobothnia, Lapland (Oulu, Rovaniemi, Sodankylä, Ivalo)

Number of troops: c. 1,200 personnel

Number of vehicles: c. 250 vehicles

Participating authorities: Police, Finnish Border Guard, Rescue Department, North Ostrobothnia Hospital District, Kainuu Social Welfare and Health District, North Finland Regional State Administrative Agency, Lapland Regional State Administrative Agency, Customs, Judiciary, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and Environment


Kehä 2021

Exercise time: 6.-11.3.2021

Exercise area: Capital city area; Helsinki and East Uusimaa, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport

Number of troops: c. 750 personnel

Number of vehicles: c. 150 vehicles

Participating authorities: East Uusimaa Police, Helsinki Rescue Department, Finnish Border Guard


Salo 2021

Exercise time: 8-12.3.2021

Exercise area: Säkylä, Salo, Oripää, Kemiönsaari/Säkylä Garrison, Oripää Airfield and Kiikala Airfield

Number of troops: c. 700 personnel

Participating authorities: Southwest Finland Police, Southwest Finland Rescue Department, West Finland Cost Guard District, (Southwest Finland Hospital District)


Pirkanmaa 2021

Exercise time: 8. - 12.3.2021

Exercise area: Pirkanmaa / Kanta-Häme

Number of troops: c. 820 personnel

Number of vehicles and of armoured vehicles: tens of vehicles

Participating authorities: Police, Rescue Department, Tampere City


Kymi 2021

Exercise time: 8.-11.3.2021

Exercise area: Region of Kouvola

Number of troops: c. 1,000 personnel


All these exercises focus on co-operation between authorities and rapid reaction to localized threats. So, let us take a closer look at one of them, the Kymi 2021 hosted by the Karelian Brigade in Kouvola.

The exercise begun with the mobilization of the readiness battalion of the Karelian Brigade and the reservists of the local defense units based in the Kymenlaakso region. These units then linked up with local police and Border Guard forces to establish a common situational awareness. After gearing up the units deployed into the region, taking control of the pre-planned control points. Units then used the local resources to maintain their combat readiness.


a CV9030 Commander of the Readiness battalion 

On the second phase of the exercise the Army forces responded to an enemy military incursion into Finnish territory, that was detected and delayed by the Border Guard forces. The mechanized readiness battalion then linked up with the Border Guards and conducted a counterattack in order to destroy or push pack the hostile forces.

The force structure of the Finnish readiness and local units, when combined with the other authorities and Special Forces enables a very wide range of options to deal with threats that may emerge. Units can be used as disaster relief or security forces or to conduct high intensity offensive operations backed by organic armor and heavy artillery.

The Finnish Air Force provided support for the troops with their F/A-18C/D Hornets


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.


  2. Actually, I know about this because my cousin is from the army. Of course, it is not an easy thing such as creating an assignment is not an easy thing which is why many students prefer to create online like I get my work from list of dissertation topics in nursing service. Now, this is a very helpful and common thing.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Russian Tanks 2022: Thicker and Blinder

  Since the all out invasion of Ukraine the Russian army has lost at least 1700 tanks. This has caused the Russian army some supply problems, when they are re-forming their mauled units. Fighting has also revealed the need for upgrades on most of the Russian tank designs. The most obvious issues with the existing Russian tank fleet are the insufficient armor protection, the lack of reverse mobility and the vulnerability of the automatic loaders and their ammunition carousels. Although the last one has gifted us the sport of Turret Throwing. T-72B obr 2022 tanks Very little can be done for the mobility with the limitations of the existing transmissions and the autoloaders can’t really be replaced with better designs or human loaders either. The armor part on the other hand can be improved during the activation and refurbishment of the deep stored Soviet-era tanks. The first new design that appeared in the battlefield was an upgraded T-72B3 with additional armo,r mimicking the T-90M layo

Russian Spring offensive 2023: Kyiv Take Two

Russian T-80U tanks stuck and abandoned in Ukraine in spring 2022   The spectacular Ukrainian victories during the 2022 forced the Russian army to the defensive. With the Russian retreat from Kharkiv and the areas north of the river Dnipro in Kherson, the focus of the fighting has returned to the Donbass. The Russian forces, with Wagner mercenaries and penal battalions doing the bulk of the fighting and dying, are trying to take Bakhmut in a battle that invokes parallels to the meat grinders of the Great war. The Ukrainian armed forces on the other hand are slowly making progress towards Kreminna. Despite the continuous rumors about a new massive round of mobilizations, the Russian army cannot sustain the present level of attrition indefinitely. By throwing enough men and material against the prepared Ukrainian positions manned by experienced and highly motivated defenders, Russians may be able to gain some localized breakthroughs. But even if the Russian mechanized forces are able to

Redut: Russian Mercenaries Controlled by a Finnish Citizen

  The recent conflicts where Russia has been directly or indirectly involved, like the invasion of Ukraine and the civil wars in Syria, Libya and Central African Republic have introduced the public to the Russian quasi-private military contractors. The most famous of these “private military contractors”  is undoubtedly the notorious Wagner-group that is presently waging an army corps level assault on the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut after engaging in various war crimes across Ukraine. The group leader Evgeniy Prigozhin has used his close connections to the Kremlin to expand his private army with convicted criminals. But the Wagner isn’t the only such formation operating under the Kremlin's umbrella. Several rumors have been floating around about the increased friction between the Russian military and Wagner. Elements within the Kremlin and the Russian general staff are trying to elevate another private security company called Redut, Russian for a redoubt, to balance the growing power