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The Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces audited the Finnish Crisis Management Force in Lebanon

Defence Forces
Publication date 17.12.2021 17.00
Press release
General Timo Kivinen inspecting the SKJL's staff. Everyone is wearing a green camo-patterned uniform.
General Timo Kivinen (on the left) inspecting the SKJL's staff in Lebanon.

On 15 and 17 December 2021, The Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, General Timo Kivinen, examined the Finnish Crisis Management Force (SKJL) participating in the UN UNIFIL operation in Lebanon.

During the visit, Kivinen met with SKJL's staff and studied the group's operative environment and tasks under the direction of SKJL's commander, Lieutenant Colonel Hannu Koivisto. General Kivinen was convinced of the professionalism and activities of the Finns in the operation. "The group can perform the tasks assigned to it well and demonstrate Finnish know-how," Kivinen said in a speech to the group.

The Finnish force's tasks include patrolling alongside watchkeeping and preparedness tasks as part of the French Commander Reserve Battalion (Force Commander Reserve, FCR) throughout the operation area. The tasks of those working within the national support element consist, inter alia, of tasks related to maintenance, administration and management systems.

During his trip, Kivinen met with the commander of UNIFIL, Major General Stefano Del Coli and the commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, General Joseph Aoun, together with Finland's Ambassador to Lebanon, Tarja Fernandez. Among the topics discussed was the importance of the Finnish force for the operation and the general security situation in Lebanon. General Kivinen also discussed with the FCR commander, Colonel Antoine Verley, the cooperation between the Finns and the French, which was found to be smooth and at a good level. 

The central objectives of the UNIFIL operation are the monitoring of the Blue Line, supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the people of Lebanon. The number of Finnish force is currently around 200.

The commander of the Finnish Defence Forces was accompanied by the Chief of Operations, Army Command, Brigadier General Tero Ylitalo, the Finnish Military Attaché in Lebanon, Colonel Juha Mäkelä and the Aide-de-Camp to the Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Annukka Ylivaara.