Mission of Finland to NATO is pleased to welcome two new members as the Defence Counsellor Tiina Tarvainen and Deputy Military Representative, Colonel Tommi Haapala join the team.
In their posts, Tarvainen and Haapala will work with the core issues of the Finland’s partnership with NATO. Haapala will act as the supervisor to the soldiers serving at the Mission, and will oversee that all the tasks relating to military cooperation are conducted with high quality and in responsible manner.
Defence Counsellor will, in turn, handle the partnership cooperation in defence policy matters. Tarvainen expects that the issues related to the security in the Baltic Sea region will play a special role in her job.
- Activity in the Baltic Sea region has increased and, naturally, the enhanced 29+2-cooperation between Finland, Sweden and NATO plays a key role in this context. In addition, the deepened cooperation between EU and NATO will be in focus as well. All in all, the job will require working with comprehensive issues together with international colleagues, and I look very much forward to it.
Something new, very much familiar
Despite that the change from Finland to Belgium is big geographically thinking; the content of the work is familiar to both. The past 9 years Tarvainen has served at the Defence Policy Department of the Ministry of Defence, where she worked closely with the recently published Defence Policy Report. This experience, she believes, will contribute to her work at the Mission.
- Enhancing national defence requires deepened international defence cooperation in all levels from political dialogue to practical military collaboration. Advancing Finland’s objectives is easier when you have up to date understanding of the present defence policy guidelines.
For Haapala, the new post is, in a sense, a return to his international roots. He last served as a Chief of Staff at Pori Brigade in Finland. From 2006 to 2009, however, he worked at the Mission of Finland to NATO. Prior to this he served as the NATO-desk at the Defence Command Finland, and has also served in two NATO-led Missions in Bosnia and Afganistan, where in latter he was the Commander of the Finnish Crisis Management Contingent.
- I’ve been able to work in numerous assignments in the Finnish Defence Forces since 1991. With many of them, I’ve had something to do with NATO, mostly through international exercises and evaluations.
Consequently, moving to Brussels has been natural and expected career development to both.