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Jarkko Karsikas to be appointed as General to the NATO Command Structure

Defence Forces
Publication date 5.7.2024 12.35
Press release

On 5th of July 2024, the President of the Republic of Finland, acting on a proposal from the Finnish Government, has decided to appoint Colonel Jarkko Karsikas as General for the period of 1. September 2024-31. August 2029, and appointed him to the post of Chief of Staff of NATO’s Communication & Information Systems Group, effect from 1. September 2024.

Currently serving in the Finnish Defence Command, Karsikas is the first general from Finland to be appointed to the NATO Command Structure. The NATO Communication & Information Systems Group (NCISG), based in Mons, Belgium, is part of the NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). Its mission is to provide command and control system services in support of coalition operations, crisis management operations and exercises, and to train and maintain operational readiness.

In total, NCISG employs more than 1,600 people, with a staff strength of 160. The majority of the staff belong to three command and control battalions, led by Germany, Poland and Italy. The battalions have personnel stationed in almost all old NATO countries.

- It's of course a great honour to be appointed to this post, and I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity. Leading the NCISG Multinational Headquarters is a core function of the Chief of Staff, which my personal career experience and the experience gained in two crisis management operations will be of use. However, in my future organization, the scope of the functions of the Chief of Staff will be wider than usual, described in the job description as Deputy Commander/Chief of Staff. I rely heavily on the extensive experience I have gained in the Finnish Defence Forces and in the Finnish military training. These will also help me manage this task while developing the defence capabilities of NATO and Finland. 

Colonel Jarkko Antero Karsikas (b. 1971) has served as Deputy Chief of Department of the Defence Staff in the Finnish Defence Forces since 2024. Previously, he has served as Project Director, Digitalization Director and Sector Director at the Finnish Defence Command, as a Director of the Signal School at the Finnish Army Academy, and as a Head of Department at the Defence Forces C5 Agency. In crisis management operations, he has served in Kosovo (KFOR) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (EUFOR). He was promoted to Colonel on 4th of June 2021.

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