Renewed: 17.12.2013, 14:15

13 December 2013 14:13

Commander Finnish Defence Forces: Reorganization of defence forces in Finland and Estonia serves the same purpose

Commander Finnish Defence Forces: Reorganization of defence forces in Finland and Estonia serves the same purpose Commander Finnish Defence Forces: Reorganization of defence forces in Finland and Estonia serves the same purpose

Commander of Finnish Defence Forces, General Ari Puheloinen confirmed today, that the Estonian Defence Forces ongoing changes are on many points similar to the reorganization of the Finnish Defence Forces.

“There is a marked progress in the development of the Estonian Defence Forces in the past years,” said General Puheloinen, who last visited Estonia in 2010. “In Estonian as well as in the Finnish Defence Forces we see similar restructuring in both forces to make the command structure more efficient.” According to General Puheloinen, the most important similar mainstays of the Estonian as well as the Finnish Defence Forces are mandatory military service and the approach to national defence of both nations.

Major General Riho Terras added that the national defence rationale of the Estonian and Finnish defence forces have independently both come to the same conclusions. “We are currently jointly involved in the EU Mali mission and in the future there will definitely be opportunities of closer cooperation within the Baltic battalion and the NATO Response Force,” said Terras. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have invited Finland to join NRF as part of the Baltic battalion in 2016.

During his visit to Estonia General Puheloinen also met with the Chairman of the Parliamentary Defence Committee, Mati Raidma; the Minister of Defence, Urmas Reinsalu as well as visited NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and the North-Eastern Defence District where he was familiarized with the activities of the artillery battalion and anti-ballistic battalion. The Finnish Commander also received an overview of the new National Defence Development Plan approved in January and an update on its current implementation.

Since the re-establishment of the Estonian Defence Forces, Finland and Estonia share a close cooperation. Estonian officers have received higher military education and graduated the Finnish staff college, educational cooperation for Estonian officers and instructors continues to this day in training with armoured vehicles in Finland.

Finnish Defence Force members have participated in the NATO Response Force exercises Steadfast Juncture and Steadfast Jazz. Finnish representatives also took part in the NATO organized, cyber defence exercise, Cyber Coalition 2013 in Estonia, last month.

Estonian and Finnish instructors are serving along with Swedish, Latvian and Lithuanian Defence Force members in the Nordic–Baltic instructional unit at the European Union training mission in Mali. With a recent joint radar system procurement Estonia received two and Finland 12 Groundmaster anti-ballistic radar systems.

General Puheloinen left Estonia today.


Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces, 717 1900, mil[at]mil.ee, Juhkentali 58, EE15007, Tallinn, Estonia.

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