May 19, 2021 (Google Translation) – Due to the effects of the corona pandemic, the Defense Forces’ main war exercise in spring 2021 will be implemented as sub-exercises across Finland. The southern sub-exercise Ritva 21, led by the Navy Staff, will be held from 24 May to 2 June.
The exercise will be attended by personnel from all branches of defense as well as several ship units (battleships, support ships, command boats) from the Navy and the Border Guard. The total strength of the exercise is more than 6,000 people. In addition to conscripts and salaried personnel, there are about 700 reservists in the exercise, most of whom work in the Army.
The exercise is the culmination of the training of conscripts returning in June 2021, where skills will be tested in mass configurations. The exercise will be carried out despite the prevailing epidemic constraints and taking into account the necessary precautions.
– It is important for the development of our capabilities that we are able to lead and implement the main military exercise of the Defense Forces, despite the prevailing interest rate challenges. We will remain operational and the co-operation between the defense branches and the authorities will also work proven in these circumstances, describes the training director, Admiral Tuomas Tiilikainen.
There are training activities in a wide area in southern and western Finland on 24 May. from. The combat phase of the exercise will be carried out in Hankoniemi from 28 May to 2 June. In connection with the exercise, three Swedish Navy vessels will act as finish departments in the Gulf of Finland and the North Baltic Sea.
– I think it is very positive that we also got Swedish ships involved. It is once again an excellent demonstration of the training cooperation between the navies of our countries and the practical support for each other, Tiilikainen points out.
Battle phase in Hankoniemi
The training activities will focus on the coastal areas of Uusimaa for the Navy’s coastal forces and on the Archipelago Sea and the Gulf of Finland for the naval forces.
The Army also trains in the regions of Satakunta, Southwest Finland, Pirkanmaa and Uusimaa. Army forces (Pori Brigade and Guard Jaeger Regiment) are also fighting in Säkylä, Oripää, Lohja, Espoo and the Helsinki region. The combat phase of the exercise will be held in Hankoniemi, incl. In the environments of Harparskog and Syndalen 28.5.-2.6. In connection with the exercise, flight operations will be carried out in southern Finland and the Gulf of Finland.
Fleet forces are engaged in their operational duties, such as missile fire, mine action, mine detection and maritime security. Coastal and ground forces are engaged in combat missions, such as combating landing and landing in coastal conditions.