Denmark Launches a Defence Fitness Plan

Denmark will never be the first supplier of boots on the ground, nor does it intend to. But troop deployment is merely one element in military strategies, and there are many others where the northern kingdom has a strong role to play, which it has been playing on the international scene over the past decades, and it intends to develop it further.

Denmark has drawn advantage in the shift in the nature of warfare and international relations, which has occurred over the last century. Until WW2, countries were free to choose whether to enter conflicts, or not, as they saw fit. In this type of warfare, even if nations found allies, each country was supposed to be self-sufficient, and Denmark’s forces were quickly spread thin. The creation of the Warsaw pact and North Atlantic alliance quickly outdated this way of waging war, and countries articulated into alliances, with mutually valuable cooperation. For instance, Portugal, despite its modest armed forces, was able to partake to the alliance from its very beginning as it provided the valuable Azores airstrips to the allied boats and ships. In this era, Denmark’s is much more in a position to play its full part in a military operation, with its command of logistics and its technology.

A country like Denmark will always seek scalable industries and value areas, so as to circumvent the lack of population volume. It can therefore focus on technological research, the products of which will then benefit the rest of NATO allies it sells to, while importing from the alliance in return. Denmark spearheads the military radar market, with several companies offering an entire range of muzzle calculators, tactical radars, and electronic warfare management systems. In a Memorandum of Understanding issued in October of 2014, Boeing and Terma (a Danish specialized defence firm) agreed to cooperate in technological contributions, namely on the Chinook CH-47 helicopter. Likewise, Weibel will probably be fitting its muzzle and tactical radars onto the modern French CAESAR self-propelled howitzer, through yet another technological agreement with one of their NATO allies. Denmark is currently considering a purchase of this state-of-the-art howitzer, closely observed during its successful operational deployment in Afghanistan and Mali. Anyway, the Weibel radar would not be the first cooperation between France and Denmark: TenCate Advanced Armour Danmark A/S is already a supplier of armoured solutions for the French VBCI, also harshly strained in the same inhospitable regions. Finally, Denmark is a contributor to the Joint Strike Fighter program, which it might purchase as of June of 2015. According to Global Security, Denmark counts approximately 25 defence-oriented companies, all of which specialized in niche markets.

The rising importance of military intelligence has also increased the role and influence of Denmark in international operations. In November of 2014, Danish forces travelled to Lithuania to take part in a military intelligence exercise, so as to uphold NATO’s capacity to monitor the delicate situation in the Ukraine. Lithuania also harbours rotating US troops and Hungarian troops (both part of NATO). Given the hostile stance of Russia towards NATO’s expansion towards the east, Denmark’s presence on the edge of Russia is an indicator that it is a trusted partner within the Alliance. On the long run, Denmark has permanent troops operating in three NATO operations (KFOR, Standing NRF Maritime Force 1 and an air force deployment in Jordan, alongside US troops involved in Iraqi strikes).

So as to render its military capacity more adapted to modern requirements, Denmark has launched an efficiency program inducing both large cuts in military spending and reorganizing units. Conscription, which is still in Force in Denmark, will further be reduced in its volume: only 5000 of the 35 000 men in age of being drafted are actually called upon by the Armed Forces, that number will shortly be reduced to 4200. And every year until 2017, the Danish Ministry of Defence will need to reduce its spending by nearly half a billion dollars. So as not to reduce its military capacity accordingly, units will be regrouped into larger and fewer regiments and bases. Their equipment will be replaced, so as to increase their firepower and deployment capacity, despite the shrinking size, with acquisitions for example of land equipment amongst others. Two important land programs are currently under consideration.

The stakes are high for Denmark, as it intends to take its full part in future allied operations. Given the nature of the strategic future of operations, the strain will be high on equipment and vehicles. In the next few years at least, the main security threats will be asymmetric. The situation in Nigeria is increasingly hitting newspaper headlines, as security and territory control deteriorates. The Islamic State has proven trickier to tackle than expected, and operations against it will no doubt need to be maintained over a long stretch of time. In both these cases, the enemy is small and nimble, which means that fighting it will require heavy projections. Aging equipment is difficult to project, as it demands far more maintenance. Even the American Air Force chief of staff, confronted with the same problem, raised a flag in September of 2014 regarding the difficulty of maintaining old equipment, especially in operations: “”There are too many things happening because our fleets are too old.” In a different strategic setting, it is likely that Western forces will need to stack up troops in the Ukraine, so as to balance powers with Russia. In this specific case, reliability will not so much be the problem, as the projection will be easier, but it will take equipment as modern and sophisticated as possible to counter Russia’s mighty forces. In both cases, if Denmark wants to be a part of the game (which it does), it will need to have its forces in pristine order.

With a strategy which aims at filling the specific diplomatic, strategic, and economic areas where it is competitive, Denmark has established its position as an equal partner with surrounding European neighbours. It provides also high-end technology to its NATO-allies, and gives them passage rights on (or under) its strategic Greenland territory, while providing them with military intelligence. With its active and high-grade diplomacy, it has tied strong links with powerful western countries, and has drawn the most from its international prerogatives, namely its seven-time European presidency since 1973. With its soon-to-be deep-reformed armed forces and new military equipment, it will probably increase its international influence even more.

Puerto Vallarta – More Secure and Safer Then Ever

Safety and security of any city determines its reputation. A city with strong, friendly and committed police sends positive signal not only to the tourists and residents but also the investors who infuse capital into a city. Hence, it can be safely said that a city’s economic prosperity depends on its ability to provide security to its citizens and business community.

In real estate world, a locality’s crime rate is a major factor in its evaluation. Puerto Vallarta Real Estate is not an exception. Any US, Canadian or European citizen looking to invest or live in Puerto Vallarta first needs to be assured if the choice of investing in Vallarta property is sound or not. Real estate has an enviable record for safety and security of its residents and their property. Many expats reckon that Vallarta is in fact safer then their native countries. Moreover, Puerto Vallarta is much friendlier.

Security is handled by its competent police force currently headed by its new Chief of police, Javier Lopez Ruelas. The new chief is committed not only to maintain the current atmosphere of peace and tranquility but also to improving the professionalism and training in the force.

To make the of municipal police force of Puerto Vallarta Properties much more professional, Lopez has embarked on a new policy in which anybody aspiring to be a police officer, traffic officer, fireman, lifeguard or a member of Civil protection force will have to face stricter requirements and pass all courses with an average of at least 80. Lopez stated “we can count on the professionalism of our forces and the use of technology to provide better service to prevent and combat crime.”

It’s important to note that Lopez during his earlier stint as Director of the Regional Academy had followed the guidelines of the campus, applying National Public Security Plan. This means that the first generation of firefighters, lifeguards and civil defence received training which ensures that Puerto Vallarta real estate security is of highest standards.

The hosting Pan American Games in 2011. With an eye on this big event, the first generation of traffic police and bike police is been currently trained for two and half months as police on duty and another two and a half months as certified sports paramedics.

Bike police and sports paramedics will have the crucial responsibility of monitoring and protecting the sport venues. Till date, 10 graduates of the academy occupy positions as firefighters, 23 as traffic patrols, six as Civil Protection, 10 as lifeguards and 23 as bike police officers.

Additionally, 171 new policemen are now been trained in various aspects like English skills, computers, general knowledge, first and human rights. This is especially important because it has become more cosmopolitan with increase in tourism and expats buying real estate.

Security Cooperation-A Business Opportunity For IT and Defence Companies

The US has established a program of Security Cooperation with foreign sovereign nations who share common interest and values to meet common defence goals. Island Consulting has learnt that the Security Programmes must be authorised by the US Foreign Assistance Act and, as amended, by the Arms Export Control Act to enable the Department of Defence, or commercial contractor, to provide defence services and articles in support of national policies and objectives.

The two key programs within the security cooperation brief are Foreign Military Sales and International Military Education and Training, (FMS & IMET). The FMF program is managed by the Department of Defence on a not for profit basis. The beneficial country in question has grant aid allocated which may be “spent” against the acquisition of US defence articles in support of security cooperation.
When required defence articles or services have been identified, in the end user country, the countries representative must provide a Letter of Request normally through the local US Embassy Office of Defence Cooperation representative.

The reply could be in the form of Price and Availability information or a Letter of Offer and Acceptance. If the requesting country accepts the LOA the US will then provide the material or services offered.

A wide range of articles may be requested through the FMF program including such things as; Electronic Defence Systems, Logistics systems, Support equipment, and training. Training in US military schools can also be available particularly where items being acquired are similar to those items being transferred through the FMF programme.

As a separate line of Defence Cooperation countries can be offered support for IMET International Military Education and Training, after making the appropriate request as for FMF.

US companies operating in the defence field can benefit their European business by taking advantage of these Cooperation programs and implementing IT and Defence systems supported by FMF.
It is interesting to see how the US Foreign Assistance is requested at the Congress level as this gives an idea of the priorities assigned to individual recipient nations.

If we limit our interest to Central and eastern Europe we can see that the mature Western nations are understandably not offered direct assistance, but the former Eastern European nations have accrued considerable benefit as they bring their Defence infrastructure and systems more in line with western standards. Typically Hungary, Poland and the Czech republic have been beneficial recipients but this has now moved in favour of countries such as Bulgaria, Romania the Ukraine and most recently Turkey.
By way of example Island Consulting understands that in 2005 Bulgaria received approval for $6.9m, Romania $29m and Ukraine $3m whilst Turkey received $33.7m.