After taking advice from The Foreign Policy Committee, the Government decided on 5th May, to deploy a detachment consisting of a Challenger airplane to support the monitoring of shipping traffic in the Indian Ocean. Additionally, the Government decided that Denmark will again make a Challenger airplane available for the Mediterranean efforts to monitor EU’s outer borders under Frontex.
“With the deployment of our Challenger airplane to Frontex and Combined Maritime Forces, Denmark again contributes vital surveillance capabilities. It is a priority for the Government to counteract the giant challenges caused, now and in future, by illegal immigration, and I am convinced that our contribution will be greatly appreciated by our international partners. I also look forward to Denmark contributing – in close cooperation with France – to the Combined Maritime Forces around the Horn of Africa and thereby improving maritime security, such as limiting funding of terrorism and organised crime”, says Minister for Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen.
“I am pleased that once again, Denmark can play a part in maritime security in the Horn of Africa region. The waters of the region play a vital role in international commercial shipping, and Denmark has previously won great international recognition for our role here.
At the same time, today’s decision to again deploy a Challenger jet to support Frontex’ effort in the Mediterranean Sea is testament to the relevant capacities of the Royal Danish Armed Forces, which can make a positive difference as part of the broader security policy considerations”, states Minister of Defence Claus Hjort Frederiksen.
“Recently, I had to chance to see for myself how the migrant pressure on the Central Mediterranean route remains high. Denmark must help to check this. Therefore, I am happy that the Royal Danish Air Force and its Challenger detachment can once again support the momentous task faced every day by Frontex in the Mediterranean Sea”, says Minister of Immigration and Integration Inger Støjberg.
Combined Maritime Forces – Task Force 150
The Danish air detachment to Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) will be deployed for approx. 30 days from the middle of May 2017 to the middle of June 2017. During its deployment, the detachment will be tasked to support Task Force 150 by gathering intelligence, which can contribute to on-going surveillance and building situational awareness in the Indian Ocean. At the time of deployment, Task Force 150 will be under French leadership.
Denmark has previously contributed naval vessels to Combined Maritime Forces, as well as supplying the Force Commander of Task Force 151. In addition to this, Danish military personnel have since 2007 been deployed to the CMF headquarters, located in Bahrain.
Frontex’ Operation Triton
Denmark has on several previous occasions contributed to Frontex’ effort to monitor the EU’s outer borders. In the beginning of 2017, the Royal Danish Air Force had deployed a Challenger airplane in support of Operation Triton, the main task of which is to monitor the outer border of the EU in the Mediterranean Sea. In terms of the future deployment, the Danish Challenger airplane is expected to deploy for approx. 30 days in August 2017. Once again, the detachment will be tasked to monitor shipping traffic in the Mediterranean Sea and, as a part of this task, be expected to assist in case of any maritime Search and Rescue operations.