According to a story published on the Finnish Ministry of Defiance website: On November 17, 2022, Minister of Defence decided on Finland’s participation in international training and exercises for 2023.
“Finland’s decision to apply for NATO membership, deepening bilateral and multilateral defence cooperation, and the fundamental change in the security environment following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are affecting the foundations of international exercises.
“Finland actively participates in international training and exercises. This participation is part of Finland’s response to the deteriorated security situation, strengthens our defence and improves our readiness to join NATO. Active participation in training and exercises also supports our ability to act together with key partner countries and strengthens regional security,” says Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen.
“In the coming years, Finland’s interoperability with NATO, Sweden and Norway, as well as with the US and UK, will be a particular focus for development. The Defence Forces’ 2023 exercise plan includes 89 training and exercise events.”
The Finnish Ministry of Defiance website added these details:
The Defence Forces’ approved exercise plan for 2023 includes 89 training and exercise events.
The focus of the Army’s international exercises will be on developing interoperability with Sweden. Exercises with the US, Norway and the UK will also be a priority.
The focus of the Navy’s international exercises will be on improving interoperability with Sweden. The Navy will also continue to participate in international exercises in the Baltic Sea region.
The focus of the Air Force’s international exercises will be to maintain the interoperability achieved with Sweden, to develop interoperability in the operating environment for fifth-generation fighters and to prepare for the deployment of the F-35 project through exercises.
Cross Border Training (CBT) will continue with key partner countries. CBT is a bilateral and multilateral training and exercise framework that involves implementing systematic training and exercise events. CBT activities are often carried out as a combination of several individual training events or exercises. CBT involves the Army, Navy, Air Force and special forces. CBT frameworks make it possible to organise narrow and short exercises in Finland and neighbouring areas. In addition to CBT frameworks, corresponding activities will continue in the Air Force’s FSTE and the Navy’s PASSEX frameworks.
Longer-term exercises of the Army, Navy, Air Force and special forces will continue in the Training Event framework.
Some of the Defence Forces’ national exercises in 2023 will also be opened to partner countries that are important for Finland. As in previous years, some of the exercises have been entered into the NATO Military Training and Exercise Programme (NATO MTEP).
As in previous years, the Defence Forces’ exercise plan for next year includes a number of the NATO exercises based on Article 5.
The Defence Forces will provide information on international training and exercises that are part of the approved training plan on the Defence Forces website.
Finland’s participation in international training and exercises
Finland’s decision to apply for NATO membership, deepening bilateral and multilateral defence cooperation, and the fundamental change in Finland’s and Europe’s security environment following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are affecting the foundations of the Defence Forces’ international exercises. As a future NATO member, it is normal for Finland to participate, for example, in exercises concerning the collective defence of NATO and its member countries.
Finland participates actively in international training and exercises, which strengthens Finland’s defence. This active participation is part of Finland’s response to the deteriorated security situation and improves Finland’s readiness to join NATO. It also supports Finland’s interoperability with key partner countries and strengthens regional security.
The aim of the Defence Forces’ participation in international training and exercises is to strengthen Finland’s defence and demonstrate its defence capability and interoperability with key partners. In the coming years, Finland’s interoperability with NATO, Sweden, Norway, the US and the UK will be a particular focus for development. International training and exercises also ensure that the deployment of strategic projects of the Navy and Air Force have the necessary support.
The majority of the Defence Forces’ international exercises are held every year. However, both national and international exercises continually adapt to developments in the security environment. These developments affect the scenarios, content and scope of exercises. For example, national and collective defence scenarios, and combinations of the two, or real world situations are increasingly used in exercises. Because of this, it is important to continue to invite key partner countries to participate in exercises that are held either partially or fully in Finland. Training with forces and/or general staff led by partner countries, and in future, NATO, will increasingly be incorporated into exercises.
The President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy decide annually on the focal points of the Defence Forces’ international training and exercises while also discussing participation in exercises. After this, the Ministry of Defence informs Parliament and approves the Defence Forces’ exercise plan.
On 28 October 2022, the President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy outlined Finland’s participation in international training and exercises in 2023. The Ministry of Defence decided on participation on 17 November 2022.
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