Demanding International Exercises Develop Competence of the Finnish Defence Forces
International exercises are an important part of the Defence Forces' activities. In Trident Juncture 18 we get to test our capabilities in a variety of ways in different, demanding conditions.
Trident Juncture 18 allows the Finnish Defence Forces to train operating with, for example submarines, AWACS and air-to-air refuelling aircraft, helicopter detachments, maritime and ground surveillance aircraft and with large battle groups. Acquiring corresponding capabilities for national exercises is difficult, expensive and even impossible.
When the Finnish Defence Forces’ international interoperability and connectivity is evaluated in practice, the key things are the knowledge and ability of the leaders and staffs, the capability and technological readiness to operate in multinational environments. Trident Juncture 18 offers excellent opportunities for training since the exercise also has exceptionally large command staffs in full strength or nearly full strength. It is difficult to acquire such experience from elsewhere.
Skills in command, planning and coordination are tested in practice when an exercise includes a large number of troops from different Services. Also the units are put in new circumstances and being a part of an organisation that has previously unknown operating procedures.
The units participating in Trident Juncture 18 have advanced far in their training so that they have good facilities for participating in applied unit training. The focus of the exercise is not so much in learning new things but more in verifying one’s own skills and capabilities. Before these troops are mustered out they will still participate in national exercises where they can demonstrate the skills they got from the international exercise.
International exercises both at home and abroad give the Finnish Defence Forces the possibility to showcase its skills and capabilities. Often, units made up of professional soldiers are surprised by the skill level of the Finnish conscripts. Results achieved in a short time and the personal willingness of the conscripts are a strength that other countries are often envious of.