Commander for the exercise Pyörremyrsky is Deputy Chief of Staff, operations, Major General Mika Peltonen from Defence Command.
The Finnish Defence Forces' primary task is to defend Finland, our home country. In this we put our trust in a capable and powerful Reserve that received its initial military training during military service and that has since bettered its skills in the Reserve and in refresher exercises. The Finnish Defence Forces manoeuvre 2011 (PVSH2011) is above all an exercise that involves those about to enter the Reserve and those already in the Reserve. For professionals, it is an opportunity to exercise with the support of reserve compositions.
In this live exercise, the Finnish Defence Forces are getting ready to defend the entire nation in the air, on the seas and in the air. Because this is a big country, we need lots of troops. Nevertheless, not all areas can be covered comprehensively. That is why we need a good situation picture so that we know which areas will get by with less troops and which ones will need a stronger presence. We also need mobile troops and the capacity to reach far, including places where we cannot locate large troops. For this reason it is no coincidence that PVSH2011 will extend throughout the Finnish territory - despite the fact that the biggest concentration of troops will initially be in Ostrobothnia and, towards the end, in the Kymenlaakso region.
We cannot fight without equipment. In terms of defence capability it is vital that our materiel functions and is adequate enough. Not everything needs to be the latest model available, but we do need top of the range gear even when it comes to materiel, especially so as far as the situation picture, mobility and effectiveness are concerned. As long as it is operational, older materiel has its uses once you are further removed from the spearhead.
We live in times where the public sector is faced with considerable challenges. That is why in this particular live exercise some of the situations and operations are displayed through games. Headquarters will have to operate with less than the normal number of personnel. Even so, it is essential every now and then to organise a large-scale exercise. To be honest, every contingency of conscripts must be able to go through the motions of their assigned operational tasks in a situation and operating environment that corresponds to their - hopefully theoretical - wartime duties. This is the only way to maintain the skills with which we are able to defend the whole country.
Seeing as it is summer, the conditions in which the exercise will take place may even be too favourable. Hopefully the exercises and activities will make the overall exercise suitably challenging for everyone. I wish a safe and rewarding exercise to all those participating in PVSH2011.
Commander of the PVSH2011, Major General Mika Peltonen