Denmark - Army
The total strength of the Army in 2015 was approximately 8,400 troops, with an additional intake of approximately 4,100 conscripts. In general terms, the Army comprises soldiers at three different levels of training - conscripts, soldiers on a Reaction Force contract and professional soldiers.
During the ten years 1995-2004 the Danish Army was restructured from a force exclusively dedicated to territorial defence, to an army able to project its influence anywhere in the world. The most significant change so far has been the formation of the Danish Reaction Brigade. This Brigade is available not only for local defence tasks but also for peacekeeping or humanitarian operations under the auspices of the UN and crisis response operations as part of the NATO Allied Command Europe Reaction Corps (ARRC). Other units on higher readiness are the Light Recce Squadron, CIMIC COY, UAV plus a number of smaller units which all have high standards of training and readiness and are “earmarked” for international operations. At lower readiness but also deployable are the Danish Division units.
In March 2004, in order to reflect the new security environment and meet the new requirements from NATO, the Danish Government presented its plan for a complete restructuring of the Danish Army, calling for a more deployable Army, equipped with material of high standards and world climate capabilities. Conscription would remain fundamental to this but with a new purpose aimed at homeland security. Suitable volunteers will be selected to undergo an advanced additional nine-month training, preparing them to serve as regular or part time soldiers in deployable units. It is foreseen, that the Army should be able to participate in international operations with 1,500 - 2,000 soldiers continuously.
Defence Agreement 2013-2017
On 30 November 2012 the Danish coalition government (the Social Democrats, the Social-Liberal Party and the Socialist People's Party) and the ‘Venstre’ (the liberal party), the Danish People's Party, the Liberal Alliance and the Conservatives entered into the an agreement regarding the Danish defence for the period 2013-2017.
The Army's current six combat battalions were to be restructured into three larger standing battalion combat commands with the ability to increase force generation, and thus the ability to support a protracted commitment with a large contribution, such as a battalion combat command. One standing combat command will be in a state of high preparedness. The level of preparedness will be adapted to the situation. The combat command - or parts of it - can at short notice be deployed as a self-sustained military ground contribution or as a contribution to a task force for humanitarian missions, for instance.
The ability is maintained to make the transition to force generation in support of a protracted commitment. The necessary capabilities for a battalion combat command can be provided through a combination of standing and generated forces. It is essential to set a robust procedure for a timely set-up, training and deployment of subsequent groups. The army`s tank capability which was previously entered as tank sub units in the basic set-up, will also be able to transform to deploying contributions in longer missions.
On 11 December 2015 the parties to the defence agreement decided on the acquisition of 309 new armored personnel carriers for the Danish Defence. Earlier this year, the parties agreed that the new armoured personnel carriers would be of the type Piranha 5. “I am very pleased that the parties to the defence agreement have supported my recommendation for the acquisition of 309 new armoured personnel carriers at a total cost of 4.5 billion DKK. This is a historically large investment in modern equipment for our army, and a tangible expression of how we put action behind our words, when we talk about the need for a modern and effective defence”, said Minister of Defence Peter Christensen.
Prior to the decision on the acquisition, the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation, in collaboration with the Danish Defence, has conducted a thorough selection process leading to a recommendation for type and number of the armoured personnel carriers needed by the Danish Defence. The financing of the purchase will be within the defence framework. “It is important that we invest in the Danish Defence. Piranha 5 is better protected than the ageing, armoured personnel carriers available to the army today, so with this purchase we are enhancing the army’s ability to carry out its future tasks”, said Peter Christensen.
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