The Daimler Mercedes-Benz 6×6 Double Cab is used in crisis management operations as a personnel carrier. The double cab is on display at the ‘National Defense is everybody’s business’ event at the Senate Square in Helsinki on May 30, 2018. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Aman was speaking Russian and moving his hands rapidly over a naval mine, S58.

A woman and a girl next to him were listening carefully.

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When fully loaded, this underwater bomb that resembles the head of Mickey Mouse weighs almost 400 kilos.

Slam! The man slapped his hand on one of the detonators on top.

The listeners flinched.

“Kabooom!” the man uttered.

And off they went to the next display of military equipment at the Senate Square in Helsinki, where the Finnish Defense Forces had opened an exhibition into their equipment and history and prepared demonstrations of the modern warfare.

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Modern military

The defense forces are celebrating 100 years of its existence with over 120 visible events around the country, reminding about their vital role, built on Finland’s circumstances and needs.

The Finnish army relies on three pillars: conscription, a credible defense that covers the entire country and not belonging to any military alliance. In the background is the strong will of citizens to defend the country. Each year, the army’s eight brigade-level units train around 20,000 conscripts. In 2016, the defense forces assisted other authorities over 600 times.

In 2017, the parliament approved the government’s Defense Report, which outlines the development of the army far into the next decade. The modern training focuses on readiness, training the troops, replacing outdated capabilities of the services, intelligence, cyber defense and long-range firepower.

By implementing these guidelines, the Finnish Defense Forces will maintain its defense capacity long into the future.

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The Finnish Defense Forces 100 Festival takes place at the Senate Square from May 30 to June 4, 2018.

Wednesday 30 May

Finnish Defence Forces’ three Services and four tasks

The main display area at the Senate Square, the equipment display as well as the display tents will be open at 10 – 18 with crisis management, military diving, craft inspection, ordnance disposal, and military police as the day’s theme.

  • 10:30 Official opening of the Festival: Adjutant General, Brigadier General Kim Mattsson
  • 10:40 Publication: Finnish Defence Forces 100, copies of the book for sale with the authors present
  • 11:00 Demonstration: Ordnance disposal, military police and readiness unit
  • 12:00 Conscript Band of the Navy Band
  • 16:00 Demonstration: Ordnance disposal, military police and readiness unit
  • 16:30 Conscript Band of the Navy Band

Thursday 31 May

Finnish Defence Forces as an employer, and views on a military career

The main display area at the Senate Square, the equipment display as well as the display tents will be open at 10 – 18 with Finnish Defence Forces as an employer of civilian and military personnel as the day’s theme.

  • 11:00 Interviewing personnel and cadets
  • 12:00 Conscript Band of the Guards Band
  • 16:00 Interviewing personnel and cadets
  • 16:30 Conscript Band of the Guards Band

Friday 1 June

Conscript training opportunities in the Finnish Defence Forces, reservists and National Defence Training Association of Finland

The main display area at the Senate Square, the equipment display as well as the display tents will be open at 10 – 18 with military sports as the day’s theme.

  • 10:30 Interview: Comprehensive capability
  • 11:00 Military Excercise for Reservists
  • 11:00 Demonstration: Working dogs
  • 12:30 Guard Parade begins and ends at the Senate Square
  • 14:00 Dragoon Band and Lapland Military Band
  • 15:30 Interviews: a conscript trained in the special operations forces; a person serving on a special assignment, a person completing the voluntary military service for women
  • 16:00 Demonstration: Working dogs
  • 17:00 Dragoon Band and Lapland Military Band

Saturday 2 June

Conscript training opportunities in the Finnish Defence Forces, reservists and National Defence Training Association of Finland

The main display area at the Senate Square, the equipment display as well as the display tents will be open at 10 – 18. A Hamina class fast attack missile craft in Eteläsatama Harbour, Pier of Pakkahuone, at 10-16. Finnish Defence Forces Visitors’ Day in the Guard Jaeger Regiment, Santahamina, and in the Naval Academy in Suomenlinna at 10-16. A helicopter jump onto Kaivopuisto at 14:50. An Air Force flying display by the Midnight Hawks aerobatics team and a Hornet off Kaivopuisto at 15:00, weather permitting.

  • 10:30 Interview: Conscript training reform, Training 2020 – ACOS Training, Defence Command
  • 11:00 Demonstration: Working dogs
  • 12:00 Dragoon Band and Lapland Military Band
  • 14:50 A helicopter jump onto Kaivopuisto
  • 15:00 Air Force flying display by the Midnight Hawks and a Hornet off Kaivopuisto
  • 15:30 Interview: Most frequently asked questions in the Regional Offices
  • 16:00 Demonstration: Working dogs
  • 17:00 Pops Orchestra of the Finnish Defence Forces’ Conscript Band