Finnish Border Guard

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Border Guard insignia


The Border Guard (Finnish: Rajavartiolaitos, Swedish: Gränsbevakningsväsendet) of Finland is the Finnish security authority responsible for the border security. It is a military organization, subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior in administrational issues and to the President of the Republic in issues pertaining to her authority as Commander-in-Chief (e.g. officer promotions). The official English translation of the organizations name (Rajavartiolaitos) was changed in 2006 to The Border Guard of Finland.

The Border Guard's manpower is 3600 personnel, which includes 500 conscripts who are not used for border control during peace time. Upon mobilisation the Frontier Guard would be wholly or partly incorporated into the Finnish Defence Forces and increased to about 23000 personnel.

Main duties of the Border Guard:
  • Guarding the land borders and territorial waters of Finland.
  • Passport control at border crossing points, airports and ports.
  • Rescue operations (mainly at sea and in the remote areas of Lapland).
  • (during wartime) Long range patrols and guerrilla tactics behind enemy lines.
  • Investigation of crimes pertaining to border security.
  • Customs control in the minor border crossing points without customs authorities.
  • Training of conscripts for wartime duty
For the discharge of its duties, the Border Guard has limited police powers in the areas where it operates. It can, for example, seize and arrest persons and conduct searches in apartments and cars pursuant to same legislation as the police, when investigating a crime. However, the power to arrest a person has been delegated only to the commanding officers of a border control detachments and commander and vice-commanders of larger units. The Frontier Guard is not supposed to be used for the keeping of public order under normal circumstances but has quick response teams that can be used to support the police in exceptional situations. The Frontier Guard also has the power to keep public order in its own facilities and in their immediate vicinity. For the execution of its military exercises, any officer with the minimum rank of captain can close an area temporarily.

The Border Guard is responsible for enforcing the 3-5 km border zone towards Russia and issues the permits to visit the zone.

Equipment

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Offshore patrol vessel Tavi
The Border Guard operates:
  • 7 Offshore patrol vessels (5 in West Finland, 2 in Gulf of Finland)(ASW equipped)
  • 7 Hovercraft (5 in West Finland, 2 in Gulf of Finland)
  • 81 Coastal patrol crafts (56 in West Finland, 25 in Gulf of Finland)

Aircraft inventory

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Frontier Guards DO 228
The Border Guard operates 13 aircraft, including 11 helicopters.

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[1] Notes
Bell 206 Italyutility helicopterAB 206B3built by Agusta
Bell 412 Italytransport helicopterAB 412
AB 412EP
4
1
built by Agusta
Dornier Do 228
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maritime patrolDo 228-2122
Eurocopter Super Puma Francetransport helicopterAS 332L-13built by Eurocopter

History

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A Border Guard member on patrol with a dog
After the Finnish Civil War in 1919, the control of the Finnish borders was given to the frontier troops under the command of the Ministry of Interior. Until 1945, only the Russian border was supervised by the Frontier Guard, the Swedish and Norwegian borders having only customs control. In 1929, a separate Sea Guard was founded to prevent the rampant alcohol smuggling caused by the Finnish prohibition of alcohol (1919–32).

At the start of the Winter War there were nine Border Companies (Rajakomppania) on the Karelian Isthmus. North of Lake Ladoga the Frontier Guards were combined into six Detached Battalions (Erillinen pataljoona). Further north in Petsamo the defence was left to the 10th Detached Company (10. Erillinen komppania). After the war marshal Mannerheim awarded all frontier guards the title "Border jäger" (Rajajääkäri).

During the Continuation War, the Frontier Guard companies were combined into 8 Border Jäger battalions (Rajajääkäripataljoona) and later during the Lapland War into a Border Jäger Brigade (Rajajääkäriprikaati).

Current activities

After the Second World War, the Border Guards were placed on all Finnish borders. In 1950s, the Sea Guard was attached to the Border Guard. Since then, the Border Guard has received a fine public image. It is famed for the wilderness skills of its guards foot-patrolling the forest-covered Russian border, its good efficiency in catching the few illegal border crossers and for the fact that it is the only state authority in large parts of Lapland. In these matters it resembles the popular image of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The Border Guard of Finland is one of the links of the chain of protectors of the external borders of the European Union and Schengen agreement.

Each Border Guard District trains small number of conscripts for long range reconnaissance. Conscripts in Border Guard companies are mostly volunteers and preferrably selected from the occupants of border areas, and while trained by Border Guard, they do not perform regular border control duties. Rivalry between Sissi troops from Border Guard and Defence Forces is traditionally high.

Employment in Border Guard is much sought for, especially in North and Eastern Finland, which suffer from chronic unemployment problems. Typically a vacancy in the Border Guard receives at least 50 applications.

References

1. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15 2007.

See also

  • Frontex (The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union)

External links

Finnish ( suomi  , or suomen kieli) is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland (91.
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Swedish}}} 
Official status
Official language of:  European Union
 European Union (in Noarootsi along with Estonian) [1]
 Finland
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Nordic Council
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Anthem
Maamme   (Finnish)
VÃ¥rt land   (Swedish)
Our Land
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Military has two broad meanings. In its first sense, it refers to soldiers and soldiering. In its second sense, it refers to armed forces as a whole. Over the years, military units have come in all shapes and sizes.
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Republic of Finland

This article is part of the series:
Politics of Finland



State Government
Constitution
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President (list)
Tarja Halonen

Prime Minister
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commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function.
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The Border Guard (Finnish: Rajavartiolaitos, Swedish: Gränsbevakningsväsendet) of Finland is the Finnish security authority responsible for the border security.
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Finnish Defence Forces (Finnish: Puolustusvoimat; Swedish: Försvarsmakten) is the armed force of Finland, encompassing an army, a navy, and an air force.
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Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most twelve nautical miles (but possibly less, at the coastal country's discretion) from the mean low water mark of a littoral state that is regarded as the sovereign territory of the state,
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passport is a travel document issued by a national government that identifies the bearer as a national of the issuing state and requests that the bearer be permitted to enter and pass through other countries.
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Province of Lapland (Lappi in Finnish and Sami, Lappland in Swedish) is one of the Provinces of Finland. The municipalities in the province cooperate in a Regional Council, which also makes it the Region of Lapland.
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Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting customs duties and for controlling the flow of animals and goods (including personal effects and hazardous items) in and out of a country.
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Type Multipurpose utility helicopter
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter Textron
Introduced 1967
Status Active service
Primary users United States Army
United States Navy
Variants OH-58 Kiowa
Bell 407
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Anthem
Il Canto degli Italiani
(also known as Fratelli d'Italia)


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Type Multipurpose utility helicopter
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter Textron
Introduced 1981
Primary users Canadian Forces
Jamaica Defence Force
Royal Air Force
Developed from Bell 212
Variants CH-146 Griffon
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Anthem
Il Canto degli Italiani
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The Dornier Do 228 is a small German twin turboprop STOL-utility aircraft, manufactured by Dornier GmbH (later DASA Dornier, Fairchild-Dornier) from 1981 until 1998. In 1983 Hindustan Aeronautics bought a production licence and manufactures the 228 to this day.
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Type Helicopter
Manufacturer Aérospatiale
Eurocopter
Maiden flight 13 September 1978
Status Active
Unit cost US $15.5 million (2006)
Developed from Aérospatiale Puma
Variants Eurocopter AS 532
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Motto
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
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"La Marseillaise"


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Finnish Civil War was a part of the national and social turmoil caused by World War I (1914–1918) in Europe. The war was fought in Finland from January 27 to May 15 1918, between the forces of the Social Democrats led by the People's Deputation of Finland, commonly called
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Prohibition of alcohol, often shortened to the term prohibition, also known as Dry Law, refers to a sumptuary law in a given jurisdiction which prohibits alcohol.
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Winter War (Finnish: Talvisota, Swedish: Vinterkriget, Russian: Зимняя война, also known as the Soviet-Finnish War or the Russo-Finnish War[9]
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See Karelia (disambiguation) for other meanings of the name Karelia.
For the Amorphis album, see The Karelian Isthmus.


The Karelian Isthmus (Finnish:
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Location Northwestern Russia
Coordinates Coordinates:

Primary sources
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Pechenga (Russian: Пече́нга; Finnish: Petsamo; Norwegian: Petsjenga
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Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim [IPA: ka:rl gustɑv e:mil mɑn:erhei̥m] (June 4, 1867 – January 28, 1951) was the Commander-in-Chief of Finland's Defence Forces, Marshal of Finland, an astute politician and a successful military commander.
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Jäger troops were volunteers from Finland in Germany trained as Jägers (elite light infantry) during World War I. It was one of many means by which Germany intended to weaken Russia and to cause Russia's loss of western provinces and dependencies.
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Continuation War (Finnish: Jatkosota, Swedish: Fortsättningskriget), was fought between Finland and the Soviet Union during World War II.
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The Lapland War is a name used for the hostilities between Finland and Germany between September 1944 and April 1945. It carries its name since it was fought in the northernmost province of Finland, Lapland.
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Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) (French: Gendarmerie Royale du Canada (GRC); literally "Royal Gendarmery of Canada") is both the federal and national police force of Canada.
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