This year CISOR Congress was in Santahamina, in the National Defence University of Finland. The theme for the congress was "Finnish Defence System".

Finnish Reservists' Association host CISOR Presidency in the years 2016 - 2018. The opening congress arranged in Santahamina October 15th. There were present President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö and the Defence Forces Commander, General Jarmo Lindberg. The national President of Finnish Reservists' Association Mikko Savola was opening the congress.


(All photos in this article: Reserviläisliitto / Lotta Hietaniemi-Sipakko)


Finland's defense solution congress was organized in cooperation with the National Defence University, which was held in the auditorium of it. The event attracted a couple of hundred listeners.



Finland's defense solution congress was built to an exceptionally high level program. The peak of the event was the speech of Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland. Sauli Niinistö praised in his speech Finnish Reservists' Association but at the same time expressed his concern about the world's trouble spots. Also the Commander of the Defence Forces, General Jarmo Lindberg spoke in the congress.



The National Defence University premises had accumulated an exceptionally broad and high-level group of invited guests, which included dozens of CISOR memeber organizations representatives from all over Europe.



President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö also attracted a lot of Finnish media. The President held a short briefing for the media during a short coffee break.



Congress music was provided by the Guards Band, which presented to the public for example "Jaeger march". Finally, the audience sang the national anthem of Finland accompanied by the Guards Band.



The representative of the Ministry of Interior, General Ilkka Laitinen, Mikko Halkilahti Chairman of the Finnish Reserve Officers' Association and the Chairman of the Voluntary Defence Training in Finland (MPK) Tapio Peltomäki.



Towards the end of the program the panel discussion of defense policy-making orientations in Finland was held. To the panel participated Members of Parliament Veera Ruoho, Krista Mikkonen and Pertti Salolainen. The discussion drew Chairman, MP Mikko Savola.



After three and a half hours of Congress closing remarks expressed CISOR organization's acting President Ilpo Pohjola.



A four-day congress was a lot of festive events in addition to the various CISOR meetings of governing bodies and working groups.



CISOR Presidency in Finland includes six events, all of which are MPK's courses are organized in the garrisons. The next event, CISOR Central Committee is organized in Sodankylä in the Jaeger Brigade in February. The theme for the meeting is "Arctic Military Trainnig".


Published November 8th, 2016








The second event of the Finnish CISOR presidency was held in Sodankylä from February 9th to 12th 2017.

In addition to attending the Central Committee meeting, the delegates had the opportunity to witness elements of the Jaeger Brigade's arctic combat training, as well as the conscripts' swearing-in ceremony.

After a raising of the flag to Lapland's dark winter morning, delegates gather for a group photo in front of the Joutselän memorial monument.

Delegates seated for the Central Committee meeting's first session. CISOR's very cheerful president Ilpo Pohjola smiles for the camera.

Delegates await the start of a ski patrol combat demonstration.

Conscripts from the Jaeger brigade respond to a simulated ambush during their ski patrol demonstration. CISOR delegates were brought to the demonstration inside snowmobiles similar to the one providing machine gun support to the ski patrol.

Staff members of the Jaeger brigade demonstrate their skiing skills by racing around an obstacle course.

Members of the local Sámi population welcomed the delegation to a traditional kota house.  Their shaman greets the delegation with his impressive pyrotechnic juggling.

Netherlands' technical delegate Chantal De Geus-de Cock and chairman of the Legal committee Annukka Jokipii discuss the finer points of Leopard 2A4 driving with a staff member of the Jaeger brigade.

The Jaeger brigade's commander, colonel Antti Lehtisalo, inspects the conscripts before they swear their oath to defend the Finnish homeland.

The delegates stand guard as conscripts are being sworn in.

During the gala diner, members of the Finnish presidency are granted rewards by the Vice-President of the Polish delegation Michał Bardasz.

Photos and text:  Martin-Éric Racine