DEFENCE COOPERATION BETWEEN FINLAND & SWEDEN
Enables our forces to operate together in times of peace, crisis and war.
Based on mutual trust
The Finnish-Swedish Defence Cooperation (FISE) is based on mutual trust and assessment of the security environment. The combined territory of both countries covers approximately 1 000 000 km2 of land and sea in the most North Eastern corner of the European Union. The Cooperation has been developed in various ways for decades. It has broad political and public support in both countries and its relevance and importance to international security in Northern Europe remains strong also in the future.
In July 2018 the Ministers of Defence of Finland and Sweden signed The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Defence Cooperation. This MoU deepened the cooperation further to cover peace, crisis and war. No predetermined limits will be set on deepening the bilateral defence cooperation. The MoU does not contain mutual defence obligations.
Whilst plans, training, execution and development of interoperability is already common at all military levels, progression from the existing levels of interoperability will allow both nations to enhance the capabilities that support mutual, effective and efficient actions.
The core of the cooperation is built on a common understanding of the security situation and the ability to operate together during peacetime, crisis and war. Execution of bilateral military action and operations will always be subject to separate national decisions.
The focus areas for deepened military cooperation were published in late 2019 by the Ministers of Defence. They include: situational awareness arrangements; deepened cooperation in surveillance; protection of territorial integrity; development of legislation, finalisation of the Host Nation Support (HNS) arrangements and an investigation into the possibilities for improved coordination of participation in international operations.
In December 2019 the Chiefs of Defence signed a military strategic concept for the deepened cooperation. The concept translates the political will into aims, direction and guidance for a military-level framework for the structure and organisation, as well as the steps required to develop interoperability at the required level.
How does it work
Defence Ministries are responsible for the provision of the relevant political guidance and to follow the progress and coherence of the FISE cooperation.
The highest common military decision making body is the FISE Military Coordination Group (MCG).The MCG is responsible for military strategic direction and guidance.
The MCG consists of Directors of Strategy and Directors of Operations.
Strategic and operational planning, implementation and monitoring of the FISE is delivered through different working groups, with participation from the command level services, subordinate commands and divisions from both countries.
The FISE cooperation will be trained, developed and tested through a series of joint, service and brigade level exercises and other training events on a regular basis. Political and military table top exercises and discussions will explore ways to further develop FISE cooperation in times of peace, crisis and conflict.
The vision for the FISE defence cooperation is that Finnish and Swedish Forces are ready and capable to conduct combined joint operations in and out of area including each other’s territory, using both countries assets.
On the land domain, the Finnish and Swedish Armies cooperate to form mutually supported ground defence capabilities that enhance regional security. It is intended that the cooperation would improve capabilities for individual and collaborative operations.
In the air domain, the Finnish and Swedish Air Forces cooperate to integrate their capabilities in the fields of air operations, base operations, and Command and Control (C2) systems. The objective is to have the capability to carry out air operations together in a common area of operation, with a mix of Finnish and Swedish aircraft and personnel, in times of peace, crisis and war.
In the maritime domain, the Swedish and Finnish Navies aim to conduct combined joint maritime operations, integrate their capabilities, and transfer units to each other’s command. Maritime operations cover all situations, such as sea surveillance and protection of territorial integrity. Development of common readiness is achieved through shared exercises, training and education and through personnel and information exchange.
Logistic development and implementation will be progressed through practical cooperative exercises.
Finland and Sweden signed a HNS agreement in 2021 and will create the necessary new technical arrangements in the coming years. Functional HNS will enable coordinated or combined military action in either Finland or Sweden.
The cooperation covers also information sharing and exercises in cyber, information and other relevant domains.