Construction and maintenance of the Finnish Defence Forces’ international bases for Defence Properties Finland
Defence Properties —
Responsibility for the construction and maintenance of the Finnish Defence Forces’ international bases was transferred from the Finnish Defence Forces to Defence Properties Finland under an agreement signed in December 2021.
“We go and build bases where the Defence Forces commission us and our CEO so decides,” says Kai Kaltiainen, International Operations Specialist at Defence Properties Finland.
”Our goal is to pilot the maintenance process of bases from the start of 2023 in the Finnish Defence Forces’ crisis management operation in the Middle East. This year, we will design a scalable base concept, prepare our own processes, choose the people for the international human resources pool and train them for our international duties. A total of dozens of people will be recruited to the pool for design, construction and maintenance tasks.
The Construction Establishment of the Defence Administration had already earlier built bases in crisis management areas, including Iraq. Nevertheless, activities have been case-specific.
“Going forward, activities will be more systematic and longer-term. We are designing a base concept, which can be modified depending on requirements and scaled based on troop size and mission.
“Besides building secure and healthy bases, the plan is to deliver savings and reduce emissions by, for example, replacing some of the energy produced by diesel generators with solar power,” says Kaltiainen.
A base consists of shelters, accommodation and washing facilities, offices, free-time facilities and the required electricity, water, sewerage and communications networks.
Work supervision from Finland – local builders
During construction, 1–5 people from Defence Properties Finland work as foremen at the site and the builders are from local companies with security clearance.
It’s most cost effective to use local labour for construction work. Also efforts are made to procure mobile accommodation facilities as close to the site as possible to minimise transportation costs.
In the construction phase, Finnish foremen ensure that construction goes according to plan. Finnish foremen’s assignments typically last for a couple of months. Going forward, Defence Properties Finland will also be responsible for the maintenance of the bases they build and 1–2 Defence Properties Finland people a time will work with maintenance tasks on assignments of 6–12 months.
“Defence Properties Finland people have a lot of skills and experience of construction in crisis management areas. A survey shows that there is great interest in going on international assignments.
Going forward, individual discussion about being added to the human resources pool will take place in conjunction with development discussions. Detachment of suitable persons for international duties will always be discussed with the person’s own organisation and efforts will be made to find a suitable time regarding substitution among other things,” Kai Kaltiainen explains.