The Danish government has decided to supplement the Danish military contribution to the Global Coalition’s fight against ISIL/Da’esh by providing a mobile ground-based radar contribution along with technical and operational support personnel. The government consulted the Danish Parliament's Foreign Policy Committee on the matter today.
“ISIL/Da’esh must be fought on all fronts and by all means. The government is ready to do its part, also during the period of time when our F-16 fighter jets must be sent home. That is why we suggest that Denmark contribute with a mobile ground-based radar along with technical and operational support personnel, which can help to provide a picture of the airspace over Iraq and eastern Syria to be used in air surveillance and control during the Coalition’s air operations against ISIL/Da’esh. I am pleased with the broad support from the Committee before the Parliament is to debate the government’s proposed resolution. As a member of the Global Coalition, Denmark is active along multiple lines of effort in order to counter ISIL/Da’esh. We contribute significantly to the stabilization efforts in Iraq and Syria, and we support the UN’s efforts in advancing a political solution to the conflict in Syria. Furthermore, Denmark is a substantial donor of humanitarian aid to the neighbouring states. ISIL/Da’esh cannot be defeated with military means alone. It will require many years of effort along multiple lines. It will be a tough fight. But it is a fight worth fighting. Our deployed military trainers and staff officers are making a useful and much appreciated contribution,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Kristian Jensen.
“I think it is very positive that there is general agreement on sending a Danish ground based radar contribution to Iraq. After the decision to withdraw our air forces from the fight against the terror organization ISIL/Da’esh in Iraq, it has been important to me – together with the Defence Command – to find another contribution, one which has also been requested by the coalition and which will make a significant difference in the fight against ISIL/Da’esh in the same way that our F-16 fighter have. We have good experience with our ground radar contribution to Afghanistan, where our deployed personnel received great acknowledgement for their distinguished efforts. I am confident that the personnel deployed with our ground radar contribution will once again prove to make a positive difference – in the same way that our other deployed personnel have in the fight against ISIL/Da’esh. Thus, with the ground radar contribution we will continue to participate in the coalition’s air campaign, while also contributing to the training of the Iraqi security forces and to the staff of the coalition,” said Minister of Defence Carl Holst.
After the withdrawal of the Danish F-16 fighter jets on October 2, the Danish military contribution to counter ISIL/Da’esh will consist of a capacity-building contribution in Iraq with up to approx. 120 soldiers and up to approx. 20 staff officers affiliated with the Coalition headquarters. These contributions are not subject to a time limit. They have been deployed, as have the F-16 contributions, on the basis of parliamentary resolution B123, which was adopted in October 2014.
From the Danish point of view, there is a clear interest in continuing to take part in the Coalition against ISIL/Da’esh and in delivering appreciated and substantial civilian, military, and diplomatic contributions to the fight against ISIL/Da’esh. As a complement to the significant Danish capacity-building contributions, the government has today consulted with the Foreign Policy Committee about sending a mobile ground-based radar with its technical and operational support personnel. In discussions with the coalition, this contribution has been identified as a substantial and relevant need that Denmark can meet. Moreover, a smaller supporting element in support of the Danish contribution in the region will also be established.
With a radar contribution, Denmark will continue to provide substantial support to the coalition’s military efforts following the withdrawal of the Danish F-16 contribution. The task for the Danish radar will be to provide a picture of the airspace over Iraq and the eastern part of Syria. Among other things, the aerial view will be used by the Coalition and the Danish operators to monitor and coordinate the total deployment of air forces etc., to keep the Coalition’s missions separate from one another and from possible civilian air traffic, to guide the aircraft to tanker aircraft, and to steer them to the areas where they will perform their operational tasks.
The aerial view from the Danish radar will not be used to identify ground targets. The government is expecting to propose the resolution on the radar contribution in the near future.
Apart from the military efforts, Denmark also contributes on multiple lines of effort in the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL/Da’esh. This includes substantial stabilization efforts in Syria and Iraq, including support of the UN’s endeavours in advancing a political solution to the conflict in Syria. Additionally, Denmark is one of the largest donors pr. capita in regard to humanitarian aid to Syria and its neighbouring countries.
For more information, please contact: Press Advisor of the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Lars Peter Levy, telephone: 4190 4124 The Press Advisor of the Ministry of Defence, telephone: 2365 6500