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30 Apr 2024

American helicopters in Roskilde

American helicopters in Roskilde
Defense Command Denmark
Defense Command Denmark

Denmark is currently a hub as American helicopters, cargo, and vehicles are being transported through the country in connection with the large NATO exercise Steadfast Defender. Host nation support to the USA is an important task for the Danish Defense and other authorities.

The ports of Kalundborg, Esbjerg, and Aarhus, as well as Roskilde Airport, are logistical hubs in April and May, as large quantities of American equipment arrive from the USA and are being transported to other destinations within NATO.

Kalundborg received a large freighter with American equipment in mid-April. At the end of April, Roskilde Airport will receive, among other things, American combat helicopters, and in May, larger quantities of American equipment will land in the ports of Aarhus and Esbjerg.

Exercise involving 90,000 soldiers

Parts of the equipment will be used at the major exercise Steadfast Defender 2024, which is NATO's largest exercise this year. Steadfast Defender consists of a series of NATO exercises and operations across Europe in the spring of 2024. The transport of equipment and troops across the Atlantic is a significant part of Steadfast Defender 2024, but the exercise also includes national and multinational exercises in several NATO countries, naval exercises, and exercises in space and cyberspace.

The exercise involves a total of more than 90,000 soldiers from all 32 NATO countries. Denmark participates with up to 1200 soldiers from all services and the Special Operations Command.

"Steadfast Defender 2024 demonstrates the Alliance's ability to move units across the Atlantic and reinforce the defense of Europe. In this process, Denmark, by virtue of our location and our ports, is a hub. The Defense focuses on supporting and ensuring allied transport through Denmark, where we, together with, among others, the Home Guard and the Police, train the host nation task and demonstrate that it is a task we can accomplish," says the Chief of the Defense Command's Operations Staff, Major General Ulrich Johan Hellebjerg.

Rotation of American forces
The American equipment is destined for other destinations within NATO. Most of the equipment passing through Denmark will be used in connection with the US enhanced presence in Europe - Operation Atlantic Resolve. The operation aims to demonstrate the US's ability and willingness to reinforce NATO and partner nations in Eastern Europe with combat and combat support units.

Host nation support

In connection with the reception and further transport, the Defense and other authorities provide so-called host nation support to the USA. The operation is carried out by the Defense with support from a number of partners, including the involved ports, the Home Guard, and the Police. The Danish host nation activities in April and May 2024 are named Operation Hawk Assistor.

Denmark and Danish ports are important, partly because access to ports close to the Baltic Sea is important for the deployment of American equipment, which needs to go further to Eastern Europe, the Baltics, or our Nordic neighbors. Denmark's ability to provide timely, effective, and smooth host nation support is crucial to NATO's ability to deter threats and defend the alliance. Host nation support is therefore an important task for the Defense and the Home Guard, which have had the opportunity to train several times in recent years.

"Host nation support is a very relevant task for the Air Home Guard, and it is among other things what we have trained for. We are ready for it and proud to take on the task. It is a huge motivational factor that as a volunteer, you are entrusted with the task, take on the task, and can demonstrate to Denmark and the allied partners that we can accomplish the task at a high professional level," says the Chief of the Air Home Guard, Colonel Kern Oddershede.


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