Maasoturi 1/2020

IN ENGLISH TEXT IN FINNISH: Mayor of Hamina Hannu Muhonen PHOTO: Town of Hamina A s of 1720s, the town of Hamina features a gar- rison area and continues in this capacity in the future as well. Here the presence of military history becomes tangible in the form of the bastion and a set of buildings denoting military history. In this town, both soldiers and civilians have always frequented the same streets. The Reserve Officer School that now turns 100 stands for a centuries-long continuum of heritage that carries on. Hamina is well known across Finland, and a lot of this kudos is thanks to the students of the Reserve Officer School. The garrison and the Reserve Officer School continue to make this town vibrant. The Reserve Officer School becomes visible and heard in the everyday life of the town as the garrison resides right in the town centre, or the town circles the garri- son, either way. It is said that in Hamina the per capita density of pizza and kebab parlours is the highest in the country, again thanks to the students of the Reserve Of- ficer School. Also, military parades always attract a high number of townspeople and tourists along the streets. Which type of cooperation do the Town of Ha- mina and the Reserve Officer School conduct? In terms of cooperation, we organise commemorative events and festivals relating to Finland’s independence or national defence. The most well-known and substan- tial of these is the biennial Hamina Tattoo International Military Music Festival. This year 2020 marks its 30-year anniversary. Last year, altogether over 140,000 visitors in total attended the Hamina Tattoo festival events. The cur- rent COVID-19 situation permitting, this year’s festival is scheduled to take place on 3-8 August 2020. Our cooperation remains transparent and fluent, based on discussing and searching for solutions together. In my view, this is because of our mutual respect and appreciation for each other’s work. Together we make a good team. While downtown on leave, the conscripts and officer students behave well and with respect. Many townspeople and entrepreneurs wish that these young people had more frequent evening leaves. How does the Reserve Officer School affect your life and work as Mayor? I get to partake in the life of the Reserve Officer School in a number of ways in that we cooperate on daily matters and also organise events together. Moreover, I also attend national events relating to national defence. I am Master Sergeant in the reserve, a non-com- missioned officer, and keenly follow the discussions relating to the Defence Forces that seems to be versatile and indicates the significance of the Finnish Defence Forces in society. Obviously, I also think about these matters. There is one thing in specific that I want to emphasise: national defence work can be done in many ways, and all this work is equally valuable and vital. All those interested should be given a chance to contribute to national defence activities. Events bring tourists to the town The Reserve Officer School is the most substantial lea- dership school in Finland that lives with the times and serves as a forerunner. In the town’s tourism sector, one of the largest sections covers those events that relate to course meetings, the activities of the National Defence Training Association, events of National Defence Asso- ciations, and so on. I am convinced that the demand for these types of activities continues to increase as the gar- rison and the town provide good facilities and venues. The Reserve Officer School remains very impor- tant for the town of Hamina and for the region of Kotka-Hamina. The Reserve Officer School provides training and employment, raises up the image of the town and of the region, and advances the brand of the town across Finland. Over the course of its history, the Reserve Officer School has excellently carried out its set tasks. I view the town of Hamina setting a good example on how civilians and soldiers have room to operate in a small town. A historic bastion lives in the present. Town of Hamina and Reserve Officer School live together 26

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