Situation awareness which supports decision-making is a distinctive feature of a credible defence capability. The goal of situation awareness is to provide grounds for reliable planning in defence policy. For the desired end state, situation awareness is a tool for taking timely action, not a goal in itself.

As the goal of situation awareness is to provide grounds for planning and decision-making in defence policy it produces a proactive and real-time understanding of the security and defence policy situation as well as of the trends in the operating environment and society. Timely decision-making in defence policy and the planning, development and use of defence capability build on situation awareness which supports the tasks and competences of both the leadership and experts. Situation awareness also improves the exchange of information and the flexibility of activities.

Situation awareness in defence policy requires national and international inputs on security and defence policy related trends as well as on military and social trends in our operating environment. Networking supports the acquisition and reception of necessary information. Information which has defence policy related relevance is compiled and categorised so that it can be quickly accessed for taking measures.

Defence administration must be able to produce analyses which support own decision-making, planning and development. The importance of analyses and the ability to analyse increases especially when there are rapid changes in the operating environment, uncertainty grows and the need to be proactive increases. The amount of information is not a problem; a more pressing challenge is to analyse information and to process it for useable situation awareness. Concrete examples of situation awareness in the Ministry of Defence are overviews of topical issues and discussions. The Prime Minister’s Office is responsible for compiling the Government’s common situation picture to which the Ministry produces, on a monthly basis, information on topics relevant for defence administration. Information on situation awareness is exchanged with other ministries and cooperation partners both nationally and internationally.

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