The purpose of border surveillance is to maintain order and security at our borders and prevent and investigate unauthorised border crossings. There is a particular focus on the external border of the Schengen area to prevent unauthorised persons from crossing it in areas between border crossing points.
The land border is patrolled traditionally on foot or skis and by keeping lookout at and near the border. Patrols also use the Air Patrol Squadron's helicopters and planes as well as land vehicles, snowmobiles and boats. Also contributing to border surveillance efforts are dogs trained in tracking. Technical surveillance systems are also employed.
At our sea borders the basic structure of border surveillance is formed of coast guard stations with their radar and camera systems. This technical surveillance is supplemented by patrolling ships and boats. The Air Patrol Squadron's aircraft also regularly patrol our sea borders.
Finnish Border Guard Special Intervention Unit
A National Special Response Division was established within the Finnish Border Guard in early 1992 to prepare for any threats arising from the collapse of the Soviet Union. The operations have changed significantly since the Division was set up, and currently the Finnish Border Guard has special response teams in the Southeast Finland Border Guard District as well as in the Gulf of Finland Coast Guard District.
The Finnish Border Guard Special Intervention Unit is equipped and prepared to operate in the Finnish Border Guard’s most demanding border security tasks throughout the whole country. In addition the unit is prepared, if necessary, to support the police in special circumstances involving internal security. The Special Intervention Unit operates in all situations under local field or situational command.
Application to enlist in the Special Intervention Unit is made on a voluntary basis. The requirements for admission to the basic course are basic border guard training, good physical condition, ability to work under pressure and co-operation skills.