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Home NATIONALDefense Forces to be cut from 26 divisions to 16
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Sun, 26 Jan, 2014 12:00:11 AM
FTimes- Xinhua Report, January 26
 
File picture of Defense Forces. Photo Lehtikuva.
In a major effort to cut down expenditures, Finnish Defense Forces has decided to carry out a reform, which requires that the current 26 divisions will be reduced to 16 in the coming two years.
     
According to the latest statement issued by the Defense Forces, the reform was aiming to save 825 million euros (1.1 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2015, while maintaining the potential to fulfill its mission.
     
The reform would focus on restructuring of the armed forces and personnel reduction.
     
After the reorganization, the current 26 military divisions are set to be reduced to 16 through closure and consolidation by the end of 2015, by which 115 to 135 million euros will be saved.
     
General Ari Puheloinen, Chief of Defense of Finland, revealed at the opening ceremony of the Finnish national defense-training course held last week in Helsinki that the wartime personnel will be reduced by 35 percent in the coming couple of years, and three of the current 31 generals are about to be slashed.
   
According to the Finish Broadcasting Company YLE, three of the generals will retire in 2015, and the Defense Forces will no longer employ new replacements.
     
Staff in the Defense Forces has already decreased by 10 percent from 2008 to 2012.
   
In addition, spending on military equipments and military operations including trainings and exercising were also expected to be reduced.
     
Puheloinen said that without increase of the level of funding, "by end of the decade, Finland has no longer a credible military defense capability."  
 
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