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Exercise STAFFEX24 of the Finnish National Defence University and the Swedish Defence University has ended

National Defence University
Publication date 14.6.2024 9.01
Press release

The Finnish National Defence University and the Swedish Defence University (SEDU) held exercise STAFFEX24 together from 3 to 13 June 2024. Participants and the management of the exercise are satisfied with the results of the cooperation.

The exercise was a continuation for the National Defence University’s annual Command and Staff Exercise, but the first in its kind on the international scale. More than 700 persons from Finland and Swedish participated in the exercise at six different exercise locations. 

The central goal of the exercise was to train the participants to work in commander and staff duties at the tactical level. The exercise was conducted in the framework of the cooperation between Finland and Sweden to which NATO brought its own spice. The Director of the exercise, Vice Rector of the National Defence University, Colonel Rainer Peltoniemi says that STAFFEX24 went according to plan and that the pedagogical goals were achieved.  

“This year, the exercise focused on tactical-level operations in the situational framework of a wide-scale war. Especially good results were achieved in the execution of joint operating. The students were very highly motivated and able to learn new things. The NATO membership of both counties has introduced a new element to doing things together”, Peltoniemi sums up. 

Cooperation between Finland and Sweden at the core of the exercise

International cooperation was a strong focus in the exercise, and participants from both universities have been happy with the activities. The exercise was carried out in English for a large part, which ensured equal learning opportunities for all participants. The Director of the delegation of the Swedish Defence University, Colonel Anders Palmgren commends, in fact, the fluency of the exercise not slowed down by any cultural differences there might have been.  

“Cooperation with the Finnish National Defence University has gone as well as could be. Finland and Sweden both have a clear vision for their national defence. To explain this better, we share lots of common perspectives, which has been important from the point of view of the exercise", Palmgren estimates. 

Colonel (ret.) Matti Lampinen who acted as a mentor in the exercise is also happy with the STAFFEX24 held in cooperation. 

“The best way to conduct international cooperation is exactly this kind of exercises. You can always go to meetings, but participating in a common exercise for a week and a half personally teaches you in a whole different way."

To bring the exercise to a close, a prize ceremony was held to acknowledge students who had distinguished themselves as having a great deal of potential as commanders. From the Swedish Defence University, Colonel Anders Palmgren and Lieutenant Colonel Magnus Bodén were also awarded at the ceremony as an acknowledgement for many years’ fruitful exercise cooperation. 

Perttu Trontti, Palmgren, Bodén and Peltoniemi at the ceremony.

Even if the exercise only just ended, both participating countries are already looking at the future. As a matter of fact, the leadership of the exercise has a clear picture of where to steer the activities in the future. 

“Next year, focus will be on operational Service and component level operations. Exercise observations and lessons from the tactical and operational levels will be utilized for further planning", Peltoniemi concludes.