Peace Time: September 13, 1999


Finland Finds No Shortage of Volunteers for Peacekeeping Duty. Finland, with along history of participating in peacekeeping operations, currently has about 550 troops involved in such activities, mostly in a single battalion in the former Yugoslavia. There has been little difficulty supporting this commitment, despite the relatively small size of the Finnish Armed Forces. Each year about between 5,000-7,000 men and 2,000-3,000 women volunteer to serve as peacekeepers, while only some 1,500-2,000 are needed to keep one battalion in the Balkans and another at home on 30-day stand-by status in the event Finland is called upon to participate in additional peacekeeping missions. With such a large pool of volunteers, the Finns can afford to be choosey. Persons accepted are must sign a contract to commit themselves to be called up for peacekeeping training. Two courses are conducted each year at the Finnish U.N. Training Center. In this fashion half the troops deployed abroad can be rotated every six months. Those personnel not deployed to the Balkans must be ready to enter service at seven days' notice. In the event that a second deployment is necessary, the composition of the force involved would vary depending on the general situation, U.N. mandate, and the nature of the operation.--A.A. Nofi 


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