Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen has said that the number of refresher training and volunteer exercises for military reservists will be increased next year. At the inauguration of the National Defence Courses in Helsinki on Monday, Kaikkonen announced that the number of reservists attending refresher training exercises will be increased by around 1,200 next year.
According to Finnish Defence Forces Commander Timo Kivinen, more than 19,000 reservists will receive refresher training next year. Three times as many reservists are to take part in volunteer activities next year: 12,000, compared to this year's 4,000.
Kaikkonen said that the increase in the number of exercises is not very substantial, but the government plans to keep increasing exercises in the coming years as well.
"There is a clear need and demand for it," Kaikkonen told reporters after his speech.
The government plans to increase the number of refresher training exercises gradually during its four-year term. The goal is to raise the current level by 20 percent by the end of the term. The government programme has provided 1.5 million euros in permanent additional funding to increase refresher training exercises by this amount by 2023.