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Denmark Military
 
 
 

General

Denmark's armed forces are known as the Danish Defence Force (Det Danske Forsvar). During peacetime, the Ministry of Defence (FM) in Denmark employs, in four branches, 15,450 in the Royal Danish Army, 5,300 in the Royal Navy, 6,050 in the Danish Air Force and more than 55,000 in the Danish Home Guard following completion of their conscript service.

The Danish army has 350-400 soldiers in Kosovo and around 600 in Afghanistan. Between 2003 and 2007 there were approx. 450 soldiers in Iraq. Seven Danish soldiers were killed during the deployment in Iraq, which at the end of July, 2007 saw the force reduced to a fleet of support helicopters.

The Chief of Defence is the head of the Danish Armed Forces, and is head of the Defence Command which is managed by the Ministry of Defence. Constitutionally, the Commander-in-Chief is the head of state (Queen Margrethe II); in practice, it is the Cabinet.

Denmark also has a concept of Total Defence.

Since 1988, Danish defence budgets and security policy have been set by multi-year agreements supported by a wide parliamentary majority including government and opposition parties. However, public opposition to increases in defence spending – during a period when economic constraints require reduced spending for social welfare – has created differences among the political parties regarding a broadly acceptable level of new defence expenditure.

The latest Defence agreement ('Defence Agreement 2005-2009') was signed June 10, 2004, and calls for a significant re-construction of the entire military. From now about 60% support structure and 40% combat operational capability, it is to be 40% support structure and 60% combat operational capability. E.g. more combat soldiers and fewer 'paper'-soldiers. The reaction speed is increased, with an entire brigade on standby readiness; the military retains the capability to continually deploy 2,000 soldiers in international service or 5,000 over a short time span. The standard mandatory conscription is modified. Generally this means fewer conscripts, less service time for them and only those who choose to will continue into the reaction force system.

Overview

Military branches:
Defence Command: Army Operational Command, Admiral Danish Fleet, Island Command Greenland, Tactical Air Command (2006)

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscripts serve an initial training period that varies from 4 to 12 months according to specialisation; reservists are assigned to mobilisation units following completion of their conscript service; women eligible to volunteer for military service (2004)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,175,108
females age 18-49: 1,150,627 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 955,168
females age 18-49: 935,643 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 31,317
females age 18-49: 29,558 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.5% (2006; 1.28% 2007 est.; 1.24% 2008 projected)