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FINCENT gets a new Commandant

Defence Forces International Centre FINCENT
Publication date 14.12.2023 12.42
Press release
Colonel Esapekka Vehkaoja

The Finnish Defence Forces International Centre, FINCENT gets a new Commandant: Colonel Esapekka Vehkaoja will take up the duties on 21 December 2023. Vehkaoja is currently serving as Director of FINCENT’s Development Section.

The objective of FINCENT is to produce and organize military crisis management courses for several international cooperation partners. The tasks of FINCENT also include developing NATO’s training solutions, which it has been involved with long before Finland became a full member of the defence alliance. According to Colonel Vehkaoja, Finland’s fresh NATO membership does have an impact, however, on FINCENT’s activities. 

“Since 2015, FINCENT has been one of the developers of defence solutions for NATO specifically in respect of military crisis management. This has been conducted for a long time with Finland as a NATO partner country; being a NATO member today does not change this. Sure enough, we will have to take the impact of Finland’s NATO membership more into account in our course activities. 
In fact, FINCENT has provided crisis management training in Finland since 1969 as the first UN training centre, so we have long traditions. There will not be any changes that big or significant in the activities. However, we will surely be in for some fine tuning; long traditions are a good foundation for building also the future", Vehkaoja explains.   

Will the new Commandant create new objectives for FINCENT - or the other way around? According to Vehkaoja, his personal goals go hand in hand with those of FINCENT. His expectations, for their part, are about continuing solutions proven to be good. 

"FINCENT has a wide field of cooperation. My expectations concern largely our ability in the future as well to produce high-quality training solutions and courses with our high-quality personnel for all of our cooperation partners, including, in addition to NATO, the UN, EU, NORDEFCO and the African Union etc.", Vehkaoja says. 

A change of command ceremony will be held on 21 December.  At the ceremony, Lieutenant Colonel Niclas von Bonsdorff will hand his duties over to Colonel Esapekka Vehkaoja.  Von Bonsdorff has been serving as Commandant of the Defence Forces International Centre since May 2021.