Press Releases 2017

20.12.2017 13:00

A reorganisation of the voluntary national defence work reviewed

The working group set up by Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö proposes how the voluntary national defence training could be reorganised in such a way that the military part of the training is taken over by the Defence Forces. As a result, the tasks of the National Defence Training Association (NDTA) would then include giving support to the military training by the Defence Forces and providing military capabilities training and preparedness and security training

According to the report, to reorganise voluntary national defence training in the proposed manner would require a minimum of EUR 5.1 million in additional funding, an increase of 40 tasks by the Defence Forces personnel, and an expansion of the training that serves military capabilities. It should also be possible to use the Defence Forces? weapons and equipment also for other purposes than firing. The aim is to improve the basic firing skills of reservists with their own weapons.

The reorganisation aims at improving the performance of local defence troops, clarifying legislation and developing the commitment and motivation of reservists. The guiding idea is to secure a voluntary and broad basis for the work.

The working group set up in October 2017 submitted its report to the Minister of Defence on 20 December 2017. As a part of the report, a consultation with stakeholders was held on 30 November 2017 after which they had an opportunity to express their opinion on the proposal in writing.

Minister of Defence takes a positive view on reorganisation

The Minister of Defence accepted the report and noted that the reorganisation plan takes well into account the requirements set on the report, in particular by highlighting the possibilities to develop the performance of local defence troops, broaden the volunteering base, take into account the nation-wide voluntary national defence work, and increase the training responsibility on a voluntary basis.

On the whole, the Minister underlined the influence of voluntary national defence training as a factor that increases society?s crisis resilience and national defence will; these are worth developing in a changing operating environment.

On hearing the Defence Forces and the NDTA, Minister Niinistö will decide on further measures in early 2018.

The report in Finnish: Vapaaehtoisen maanpuolustuskoulutuksen uudelleenjärjestäminen (pdf) (541.4 KB) 

Inquiries: Chair of the working group, Director of Unit Antti Lehtisalo, tel. +358 295 140 330.

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