US-Danish military staff talks underscore Arctic security, defense cooperation


“As proud fellow founding nations of the NATO Alliance, Denmark and the United States have continued to build and solidify its transatlantic bond for more than 70 years now.” - Danish Commodore Friis
By U.S. European Command Public Affairs United States European Command Stuttgart, Germany Sep 21, 2023
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As part of the annual, bilateral military staff talks between Denmark and the United States, U.S. European Command officials hosted Danish military leaders Sept. 20 at the command’s Stuttgart-based headquarters to discuss a wide range of defense-related issues.

Meeting on the heels of Denmark taking delivery of its first fifth-generation aircraft, the American-produced F-35 Lightning, only underscored the close and enduring military relationships shared by the two nations.

“As proud fellow founding nations of the NATO Alliance, Denmark and the United States have continued to build and solidify its transatlantic bond for more than 70 years now,” said Danish Commodore Anders Friis, acting chief of plans and capabilities for the nation’s military and the senior delegation representative. “While we’ve seen the world change and the threats evolve, the one constant has been the long, close and enduring relationships that we’ve forged. These talks clearly illustrate that.”

Discussions during the daylong gathering focused upon issues of mutual defense and European security. Against the backdrop of Russia’s unprovoked and brutal invasion of Ukraine, military leaders from the two nations had productive, wide-ranging dialogue regarding everything from continued security assistance and training for Ukraine’s military to the shared roles in ensuring a safe and stable Arctic region.

Like the U.S. military, Denmark’s forces oversee security responsibilities for vast swaths of land, sea and air, given the kingdom’s autonomous territory of Greenland, self-governing archipelago of the Faroe Islands and the nation’s Bornholm island located in the Baltic Sea just south of Sweden.

“Denmark is a cornerstone of America’s transatlantic defense and a key partner in addressing the Arctic’s evolving security environment,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Bryony Terrell, USEUCOM’s deputy director for strategy, plans and capabilities. “And, despite the longevity of our national military relationships, we continue to forge positive new chapters together to ensure the collective defense of Europe and to defend America’s homeland forward.”

Included in those historic firsts were the first U.S. F-35 aircraft deployment to Greenland’s Pituffik Space Base in January as well as the first pier-side visit of an American submarine to the Faroe Islands in June.

The Danish military and USEUCOM are also active participants in the Arctic Security Forces Roundtable (ASFR). Co-chaired by the Norwegian Defence Staff and USEUCOM, ASFR is currently the only military forum focused on the Arctic region's unique and challenging security dynamics, along with the military capabilities and cooperation required to maintain a stable, secure region.

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