Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Norway and Sweden form a Battle Group
The Nordic Battle Group (NBG11) formed by Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia and Ireland has a total complement of about 2,200 soldiers, of whom 200 are Finnish. The core of the Finnish contingent is a Jaeger company.
Training consists of a national training period from July to September and a multi-national exercise period from October to the end of November, with the various nationalities in the Battle Group engaging in manoeuvres together. The Nordic Battle Group will go on standby on 1 January 2011, and the Finnish troops will be ready to deploy at five days’ notice in Finland for the following six months.
The EU Battle Groups were conceived to be used within a 6,000 km radius of Brussels, and the troops are equipped accordingly. The vehicles, clothing and equipment are designed to enable the troops to operate under both tropical and Arctic conditions.
Contact information for media
Media representatives may contact the following:
Annele Apajakari, Chief Public Information Officer of the Navy, tel. (0299) 800, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lieutenant Jari Tenhunen, Public Information Officer of the Finnish Contingent of NBG11, tel. 050 3154 603, email: email@example.com
Background on the EU Battle Groups
The concept of Battle Groups emerged as part of broader EU defence planning in the early 2000s. An important impulse came from Operation Artemis in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2003. This was the first occasion on which the EU deployed troops outside Europe. In the following year, the Headline Goal 2010 policy document was published outlining the EU Battle Groups (BG). It was determined that the EU must be able to launch a BG operation within five days of the European Council taking a decision to do so. On the deployment of forces, the aim is that the BG should be on the ground in the operation area within ten days and be prepared to remain there for a maximum of four months.
A BG should thus be a readiness force capable of rapid deployment and action, usable in the management of unanticipated disasters or crises. The EU maintains real-time situational awareness of various events in the world and proactively plans for potential operations so that they are simple to launch if and when needed. Tasks for a Battle Group are likely to include the following:
A natural disaster or other unforeseen occurrence has caused a threat to EU citizens in the disaster area. The BG arrives and takes control of transport hubs, such as airports and harbours, needed for evacuation. The troops then find the EU citizens in the area and arrange for them to be taken to a transport hub for evacuation.
2. Humanitarian aid
A natural disaster or other unforeseen occurrence has created a need for humanitarian aid. Although there may be civilian organisations already on the ground, their resources are not sufficient for managing the situation. The BG arrives and takes control of transport hubs such as airports and harbours to ensure the safe delivery of aid transports. If there is violence or looting in the area as a result of the disaster, the BG takes the situation under control.
3. Conflict prevention
Tension between population groups threatens to escalate into a conflict. The EU decides to send the BG on standby to calm the situation. The BG takes control of the airport and harbour, and ensures access to them. Within four months, a larger crisis management force arrives to keep the peace in the area and the BG leaves.
4. Separating the parties of a conflict
Tension between population groups has escalated into unrest. The EU sends in a BG to separate the parties of the conflict from one another and to set up and monitor a demilitarised zone. The BG also controls the harbour and airport. Within four months, a larger crisis management force arrives to keep the peace in the area and the BG leaves.