The Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, General Ari Puheloinen says a thorough reorganisation of the military must be carried out in the life the next parliament.
He says permanent savings must be achieved by a reorganisation that must come into effect by the end of 2015.
General Puheloinen was speaking at the opening of a defence seminar on Monday. He added that merely chipping away at the current organisation or transferring operations from one location to another was not enough. However, he did not give any further details of organisational changes noting initiatives were still in the planning stage.
The Commander emphasized that reorganisation would cover land, naval and air forces as well as leadership of the armed forces. Puheloinen the military’s task would not change but, for example, the command chain would be shortened and the independence of regional units would be relinquished.
”The aim is to create by the end of this decade armed forces that can meet the challenges of the next decade,” Puheloinen said. He added possible NATO membership could not be used as an argument to solve financial challenges facing the defence forces.
In his address, Defence Minister Jyri Häkämies concentrated on defence co-operation with the EU and NATO. In his view, their compatibility was even more significant as a result of the current economic situation. He added no one could waste resources by duplicating operations and resources.
Discussions on the future of Finland’s defence forces will receive additional food for thought next week when a report is published on the pros and cons of general conscription.