Åland has been a demilitarized area since 1856. Demilitarization means that on Åland and within three nautical miles wide territorial waters, no military facilities may be erected and no military forces enter, either on land, at sea or in the air. Occasionally, however, Finland’s defense force may enter with a few smaller vessels in the Åland waters. As a result of demilitarization, the Ålanders have no military duty. Since 1921, Åland has also been neutral in the event of war.
See also the Åland issue; compare the Åland Convention.