Defence Forces introducing new battle tactics for Army
Preparations for leaner army
The Finnish Defence Forces are planning changes to the structure of the Finnish Army’s regional forces, which currently comprise nearly 60 per cent of the wartime fighting strength of the Finnish military.
Under the changes which take effect in 2015, the present types of infantry brigades are to be dismantled and replaced by new regional brigades and battle groups.
The changes are also to be used in the operative forces, or readiness brigades, which are currently the spearhead of the Army. However, their composition will not be interfered with.
“We will start intensive training of our personnel immediately at the beginning of the year”, says Veli-Pekka Parkatti, head of Army operations.
“Training material is currently under preparation. Instructions and guides are to be written accordingly. It is a big organisational task.”
The changes are a part of reform in the Defence Forces, aimed at reducing the size of the reserves from the present 350,000. The aim is to operate more efficiently with a smaller number of soldiers.
The regional defence system will be retained, but its basic philosophy will be changed.
At present, defensive fighting is based on holding important positions in terrain. In the future, the forces will seek to inflict sufficient casualties on an attacker in a more dispersed, active, and flexible manner.
Brigadier General Parkatti says that the planning is for a more efficient use of intellectual resources, and the encouragement of personal initiative and cunning.
The new fighting method has been developed using war game programmes and operational analysis tools, and the first exercises in the field have been conducted in the North Karelia Brigade. Exercises will be held next year in other units as well.
“The training of forces using the new method is to begin with the conscripts who start their service in the summer of 2013.”
One problem faced by the military is that the entire reserve has been trained on the old model, while wartime forces are to be set up under the new model.
“We cannot train the entire reserve, especially as the number of refresher exercises has been reduced”, Parkatti says.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Defence Forces Commander wants to shut down garrisons already in 2013 (20.9.2011)