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Home NATIONALUse of conscripts for fast reaction defense planned
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Wed, 27 Jul, 2016 12:11:21 AM
FTimes – Xinhua Report, Jul 27
Patria presented tornillisia grenade launchers Defence Forces training area Rovajärvi on Wednesday, 25 May 2016, the figure conscripts armor. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Finnish defense forces are planning to incorporate current national servicemen into immediate response forces, Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported Tuesday.
Training for such forces will start in 2017, according to acquired training plans of the defense forces headquarters.
Finland is one of the few countries in Europe that still has a conscript-based universal military service. This June, 12,000 young men and a few hundred women began military training either for six months or 12 months, depending on the abilities of the conscripts.
Finland has a large military reserve, but the call-up and deployment of the reserve has been deemed to be too slow in a fast-moving crisis.
The defense forces aim at raising preparedness using staff officers and non-commission officers and various conscript-based units.
The number of people that could be deployed in a crisis was as high as 500,000 some 20 years ago, but the size of the call-up was reduced as Finland could not arm that number any longer.
In January this year, Finnish Chancellor of Justice Jaakko Jonkka gave a ruling that the use of conscripts for wartime duties during the national service period would be legal.
The plan to give conscripts a role in combat followed legislative changes this year that made the call-up of reservists faster. The three-month minimum notice time of an invitation to refresher training is no longer mandatory. A change of law approved in early July authorized a shorter time, if so required.
The latest plan to give the conscripts a combat role has caused controversy in Finland, sparking discussion of possible causalities.
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