Preparations for the Defence Forces Main Exercise Arctic Lock 21 Underway

Defence Forces 2.12.2019 17.13
Press release

The planning of Defence Forces Main Exercise Arctic Lock 21 starts in earnest on the beginning of next year.

The Defence Forces Main Exercise Arctic Lock 2021 will be held in May-June 2021 in locations all around Finland. The aim of the exercise is to test the Finnish Defence Forces’ combined and joint operations capability, and the ability to give and receive military assistance.

"The Defence Forces joint operations training improves the skills in combining and coordinating operations between the services, i.e Army, Navy and Air Force. Training these aspects always requires a larger training framework, and that is why the Finnish Defence Forces organises large Main Exercises that include all of the Services" says BG Jukka Sonninen, Chief of Education in the Finnish Defence Forces.

What makes Arctic Lock exceptional is the its large international dimension. Because of the international aspect of the exercise, the state political leadership and the Parliament of Finland are also regularly informed of the exercise preparations.

Most of the troops in the exercise are Finnish. Conscripts mustering out in summer 2021 will get to test their skills in a very complex environment. Additionally, a large number of reservists will be participating in the exercise. International participants have been invited from countries that are important for Finland from the perspective of defence cooperation. Their participation will be confirmed as the preparations advance.

What is certain is that the overall strength of the exercise will exceed 13,000 military personnel. Therefore, Finland will inform the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe of the exercise, and will invite observers from all of the 57 OSCE member states before exercise. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs will send the invitations closer to the exercise date.

"It is vital to train together with partner countries close to Finland for our country to be able to provide and receive military assistance if needed. Training cooperation is part of Finland’s defence cooperation, and it is vital for national defence", BG Sonninen points out. 

Arctic Lock 21 is a natural continuum in the line of Defence Forces Main Exercises that are organised every other year. This year, the corresponding exercise is KAAKKO19 (read more).