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    Extensive support for the Finnish Defence Forces’ exercise activities

    The exercise activities of the Finnish Defence Forces are carried out and developed in cooperation with the Finnish defence industry. As a strategic partner, Insta has been extensively supporting the Finnish Defence Forces' national and international exercise activities for several years – also in March 2021, when the Rajapinta exercise (Annual Joint C4I technical exercise in Finland) was organized.

    Captain (eng.) Mika Lignell from the Joint Systems Centre of the Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command was interviewed by Insta. We discussed with him the exercise activity and its significance.

    – My own collaboration with Insta began in 2012 when I worked as a test manager in the project office. Since then, we have cooperated in numerous exercises at home and abroad. As a project manager, I also wear the test manager's hat. In the tests, my task has been to deploy various systems as a whole so that we can look at the work done by different suppliers in parallel, says Lignell at the beginning of the interview, emphasizing the importance of the ecosystem formed by the suppliers in the exercise activities.

    – Throughout the year, the project and collaboration with suppliers go to the rhythm of different exercises for which we produce things together with various suppliers, Lignell adds.

    The shared continuum of exercises is part of a strategic partnership

    – Training plays a vital role in the development of systems. Solutions in the productization funnel or just in the experimental phase are brought into the military environment; they go through a product development path, where testing in different exercises is an inherent part, says Lignell.

    – Exercise activities form a continuum. In the same way that a product to be developed matures in different iterations, the exercises continue and complement where we left at the last time. At the beginning of the development, there is concept support and testing of technical principles. From there, we can proceed to the path of more solid productization so that the solution can evolve into actual operational use. All of this requires many test points: the continuum of exercises with different perspectives and different degrees of maturity, Lignell describes the continuum of exercises.

    – Training is an ongoing process that is constantly evolving and provides a significant input to the development of the command and control systems, taking into account the needs of the surrounding world and technological development. The cornerstone of Insta's capability is the knowledge of the defence customer. By participating in the exercises, we can increase this expertise and better serve the Finnish Defence Forces as a strategic partner, says Senior Director Karri-Tuomas Salli from Insta.

    Decentralized training in the technical joint exercise

    In the 2021 Rajapinta exercise, Captain (eng.) Mika Lignell led the experimentation related to cloud services. In the preparation of the exercise, the C2 systems support services produced by Insta supported the project and facilitated cooperation between the companies involved in the ecosystem. In addition, the Insta Blue Aware product family was one of the products to be experimented with.

    The exercise initially planned to be performed on-site became a highly decentralized remote exercise due to the covid-19 situation. The system also showed its ability in these conditions, enabling the development of exercise activities in the future for further decentralized training conditions.

    – Generally speaking, due to the covid-19 situation, a kind of digital leap has also been taken in the exercises, which applies not only to the means of communication but also to the decentralized use of the systems. The ability for more decentralized testing and training has undoubtedly come to stay, Lignell reflects.

    – The operational testers involved in this spring's exercise felt that the exercise arrangements worked well in the decentralized conditions, and the feedback was positive, Lignell continues.

    – Although we can go a long way in decentralized work, I personally hope that as the situation normalizes, we can also support innovation by exchanging ideas in common physical spaces, Lignell concludes.

    Additional information

    Karri-Tuomas Salli