Exercises done within the JEF framework play a crucial role in the Finnish Defense Forces’ additional exercise activities. The JEF cooperation, along with other international exercise cooperation, improves the capabilities of all participant countries and is a part of the Defense Forces’ normal international cooperation.
As a multinational country group, the JEF offers flexible and versatile support to NATO, EU and UN activities. Decisions on the participation, used forces and capabilities are done as national political decisions, and the activities can be stood-up rapidly. These activities do not require consensus among all of the JEF countries but the countries can choose whether to participate or not, based on political decisions.
Finland has not assigned specific forces to be used in the JEF context. Countries participating in the JEF are well-known partners from previous international crisis management operations and international exercises. The focus of the JEF’s activities is in the Baltic Sea, the Northern Atlantic and in the High North.
Preventing hybrid threats and broad-spectrum influencing has been an important part of Finland’s JEF cooperation since the beginning. The JEF also provides a good framework for long-term development that is based on the long and versatile experiences of the participating countries in the field of defense cooperation. The JEF framework also cooperates with the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, Hybrid CoE.
Command of Combined JEF operations was rehearsed in Sweden in the autumn of 2021, with the Finnish Defense Forces participating in Exercise Joint Protector, led by the United Kingdom and hosted by Sweden in Alvdalen. In May 2022, the JEF headquarters, the Standing Joint Force Headquarters (SJFHQ) dispersed its operations for a fixed time from London to Latvia and Lithuania. Finnish liaison officers also participated in this exercise.