Finnish Defence Forces

combined military forces of Finland

The Finnish Defence Forces (Finnish: Puolustusvoimat, Swedish: Försvarsmakten) are responsible for the defence of Finland. Universal male conscription is in place, under which all men above 18 years of age serve for 165, 255, or 347 days. Alternative non-military service for men and voluntary service for women is available. Finland is the only non-NATO European Union state bordering Russia. Finland's official policy states that a wartime military strength of 280,000 personnel constitutes a sufficient deterrent. The army consists of a highly mobile field army backed up by local defence units. The army defends the national territory and its military strategy employs the use of the heavily forested terrain and numerous lakes to wear down an aggressor, instead of attempting to hold the attacking army on the frontier. Finland's defence budget equals approximately €3.2 billion or 1.3% of GDP. The voluntary overseas service is highly popular and troops serve around the world in UN, NATO and EU missions. Homeland defence willingness against a superior enemy is at 76%, one of the highest rates in Europe.In wartime the Finnish Border Guard (which is its own military unit in peacetime) becomes part of the Finnish Defence Forces.
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