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Joint Command and General Staff Course on International Study Trip to Finland and Sweden

From 9th to 14th of June 2019, the Joint Command and General Course (JCGSC) conducts the International Study Trip (IST) to Finland and Sweden. The aim of the IST is to focus on non-NATO/EU countries defence cooperation with NATO member states in order to bolster their national security and defence goals. The students will have an opportunity to gain a thorough appreciation of bilateral and multilateral cooperation at different institutions in practice, as well as to understand cooperation relations both in historical and contemporary context.

Day 1

Group 1 - Finland
The delegation started their International Study Trip with a wreath laying ceremony at the grave of Marshal Mannerheim and at the Heroes' Cross Memorial at the Hietaniemi Cemetary and reception at the Defence Command Finland hosted by MG Ilkka Korkiamäki, Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel.

 

Group 2 - Sweden
The day started with a visit to the Swedish Defence University where the delegation received a briefing about the concept and approach Sweden has developed for their Professional Military Education. All briefings created food for thought and extensive Q&A sessions. Next, the delegation visited the Swedish Defence Research Agency where they received interesting and stimulating briefs complementing the curriculum taught at BALTDEFOL. Again the material presented to the students sparked a lively Q&A session.

 

Day 2

Group 1 - Finland
The day started with a visit to Finnish National Defence University where the students learned about the Finnish Armed Forces and Finnish officer training.
Next stop - Guard Jaeger Regiment where JCGSC had discussions with conscript soldiers of the Jaeger Regiment reconnaissance company who had just called indirect fire on a target across an inlet. These soldiers follow a special programme as they are world class athletes competing at world championship level. A good way for the participants to remind of the ultimate reason they learn at BALTDEFCOL, so that we are ready for the defence of our respective nation.

 

Group 2 - Sweden
The day started with a visit to Swedish Armed Forces HQ. During the visit, students received a briefing and had the opportunity to discuss about Swedish Armed Forces development capabilities.

Day 3

Group 1 - Finland
In the morning the delegation had briefings at the Finnish Defence Research Agency. The programme then continued with a visit to the Armoured Brigade and their simulation centre. The afternoon was spent at the Parola Armour Museum.

 

Group 2 - Sweden
The day was fully dedicated to the Air domain.
The delegation first visited the Swedish Malmen Military Airbase. There, students were briefed about the Swedish Air Forces history, organization, mission and tasks, as well as the various types of helicopters used in the Swedish Armed Forces and general challenges they face. After the briefings, the group had the possibility to look at the Black Hawk HKP16 up close and speak with aircrew about detailed issues. Next, the delegation visited the Swedish aerospace and defence company SAAB AB’s Aeronautics detachment. SAAB Aeronautics offers airborne systems, related subsystems, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and aerostructures. There, BALTDEFCOL officers received presentations about SAAB’s history, products portfolio and general information about airborne surveillance solutions. The event concluded with exhibitions of the JAS 39C Gripen and SAAB’s suite of unmanned underwater vehicles. The day ended at the Sweden Air Force Museum. Students had the opportunity to see a unique collection of American, British, Italian and Swedish aircrafts. A highlight of the museum was its German Junkers JU 86, a twin-engine bomber, which is the only one left in the world.

Day 4

Group 1 - Finland
The group traveled to Tampere city in order to visit Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) Logistic Command. Students were introduced with FDF logistic system and structure, equipment life cycle management, and cooperation with Finnish civilian company Millog Oy. Millog is FDF strategic partner. After lunch, students transferred to Hämeenlinna city in order to visit Patria Land Oy. Students got a possibility to see different Patria Land system products, such as Patria AMV, Patria 6x6, and Patria Nemo mortar system.

 

Group 2 - Sweden

The day was all about the Swedish naval defence. The group spent an interesting and educational day at Haninge Garrison. The students and faculty were briefed about the tasks of the Swedish navy and marines with regard to defending its territorial waters and coast line. In addition, geographical challenges posed by Baltic Sea and the historical implications for today’s naval operations were also presented. The 2nd Marine Battalion provided an overview how a relatively small country like Sweden has innovatively solved its coastal defence issues. Additionally, the weaponry and vessels of the marines were exhibited. The Swedish solution for tackling coastal defence is something from which 3B countries could learn in order to improve their own. The cherry on top of the cake was visiting of the modern Visby class corvette.

 

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