Military commanders of Sweden, Finland, and Norway laud Nordic cooperation
No decisions exist with regard to monitoring of Iceland’s airspace
The chiefs of defence of Finland, Sweden, and Norway reckon that in the last few years the Nordic military cooperation has developed into a success from which the EU and NATO countries battling with economic difficulties could learn a thing or two. The military commanders published jointly an article on the subject in three Nordic newspapers.
According to the article, the success of the effort relies on the fact that in their military cooperation the three countries have concentrated on smaller but more realisable projects than before.
The cooperation encompasses strategic development, personnel, education, training, and operations.
“The foremost aim is to see how we can do things better and more cost-efficiently together, thus creating cost-savings. Time will tell what this cooperation will mean in wider terms from the security point of view”, says Finland’s Chief of Defence, General Ari Puheloinen.
As an example, the commanders mention the joint air force training exercises crossing over national borders. In 2010, the air forces of the three countries conducted 48 joint exercises. For this year, 120 such efforts have been planned.
In addition, Sweden and Norway divided the development expenses of the Archer Artillery System between the two of them. Finland has purchased used armoured personnel carriers from Sweden and track-mounted trucks from Norway.
In the future, the aim is to look into joint weaponry system acquisitions, the harmonising of training, and new joint military exercise areas.
The commanders do not mention the monitoring of the airspace of Iceland, the carrying out of which through Nordic cooperation has been suggested.
“It was not mentioned, because the matter is still pending and no decisions exist at present”, Puheloinen says.
Previously in HS International Edition:
EDITORIAL: Cost pressures affect Finland´s relations with NATO (21.5.2012)
NEWS ANALYSIS: Nordic cooperation undergoes gradual change (12.6.2012)
Finland´s Minister of Defence suggested Iceland air surveillance on his visit to Sweden (9.8.2012)
Decision on Iceland air surveillance to be postponed until the autumn (15.6.2012)
President Niinistö: Taking part in monitoring Iceland´s airspace does not draw Finland closer to NATO (28.5.2012)
Finland considers sending jets to monitor Iceland´s air space (11.5.2012)
Archer Artillery System (Wikipedia)