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Mission Update week 41 - 2021​

There have been elections in Iraq, where Denmark is at the forefront of NATO's international mission, and in the Baltics, Danish F-16s are guarding the airspace of allied countries. Read the latest Mission Update.
October 15, 2021 - Kl. 09.16

The contribution has completed and plans to continue conducting more training with the Portuguese colleagues at the base.

The contribution has completed and plans to continue conducting more training with the Portuguese colleagues at the base. Photo: The Armed Forces

By the Defense Command

Baltic Air Policing - Siauliai, Lithuania​

Flight in the past week has taken place without the major challenges on either the plane or the weather side. A new team of pilots has now all flown a handful of trips and they have become familiar with airspace structure and procedures.

The weather has been favorable, but the contribution is slowly beginning to experience declining temperatures with night frosts as well as the first cases of fog and frost fog in the Baltics.

There have been no sharp activations in the past week. To date, 31 patrol flights have been flown, of which 10 are sharp activations.

NATO Mission Iraq - Baghdad, Iraq​

Elections were held in Iraq on October 8 and 10, which went smoothly without major incidents.
Up until the election, the mission has kept the activity level to a minimum so that presence or task solution could not be misunderstood as an attempt to influence the election action.

[] -FSVDK_NMI1-2021- [ARTICLE] .jpg

The quiet period in connection with the election gave the soldiers the opportunity to spend extra time on sports, lectures and internal visiting activities and an insight into, for example, the helicopter contribution's tasks.

In the past week, the international NATO Mission Iraq has carried out 40 activities related to the task of advising the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and defense staff in and around Baghdad, as well as driving with the head of the mission, Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard.

The Danish security and escort contribution has escorted to seven meetings within the international zone (Green Zone) and 12 meetings outside the international zone (Red Zone).
The Danish Close Protection Team has escorted to three meetings within the international zone and two meetings outside the international zone.

The international contributions to the security and escort task, which is under Danish leadership, have completed eight trips in the international zone and 13 trips outside.

NATO Mission Iraq, Helicopter Contribution - Al Assad Air Base, Iraq​

In the past week, 9 hours and 14 minutes have been flown on four missions, including two VIP flights with people and equipment.

During the period, the contribution moved 47 people and 6,300 kg of goods.

There are currently restrictions on flying over Baghdad, and it is taking advantage of the contribution to carry out inspections of the helicopters.

Operator Contribution - Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, USA​

In the past week, a team of new U.S. troops has arrived in Shaw to replace a large number of current U.S. operators. The Danish control and warning operators have contributed to the training and education of the newly arrived American soldiers. This ensures a continued high level in air operations despite the large replacement.
 

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The Frogman Corps is criticized for canceling the entrance exam for something close to the last second​

The finances are not in place in Frømandskorpset, and therefore the entrance exam for the hopeful future frogmen is canceled with just over a week's notice, writes the defense media Olfi.

23904421-.jpg

Aspiring frogmen must arm themselves with patience because this year's student school has been canceled with just over a week's notice. The economy is not in place, the explanation reads.
Photo: Keld Navntoft / Ritzau Scanpix


Tuesday, October 26, 2021, at 11.26


Next week, the Frogman Corps was to hold the tough entrance exam for hopeful frogman students. Nevertheless, it was not clear until Friday last week that the test will not turn into anything, writes the defense media Olfi .

The economy is not in place, the Armed Forces must be true, and this puts an end to the student school's entrance exam, Commander Captain Jens Birkebæk Bach, head of the Frømand Corps, informs in a letter to the guests.

“Since I know that you and all the other applicants have been training purposefully for a long time in order to be ready for the entrance exam in week 44, I will provide a little more information. In light of the Armed Forces' current overall financial situation with a limited economy to support further intake of new personnel in 2022, it does not allow the student school 2022 to be completed as planned, "writes Jens Birkebæk Bach according to Olfi.

"Pretty unprofessional," says an anonymous male aspirant with whom Olfi has spoken.

The expectation is now that the recording can take place at the earliest in 2022. According to Jens Birkebæk Bach, it has not been possible to give an announcement at an earlier time.

For many aspirants, the entrance exam for the student school will be anything but a narrow matter, but will require a lot of preparation.

To be considered for the Frømand Corps, you must be able to complete several tests consisting of running - a minimum of 2,900 meters - in 12 minutes in addition to several strength tests.

 

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The scandals in the Armed Forces now bring Denmark an international degradation: "Moderate risk of corruption"​

Fraud, abuse of office and closedness now mean that, according to an international watchdog, Denmark must be considered a country with a moderate risk of corruption in the field of defense. The problems are not limited to the armed forces, but reach all the way up to the Ministry of Defense's department, from where Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen (S) has blown to fight against even the same problems.

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Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen gives a speech and presents medals to Danish envoys in Kosovo in July 2021. After a number of problem cases across the defense area, Bramsen has made it a priority to put himself at the forefront of a clean-up and "put an end to the many bad cases «.
Photo: Emil Helms



Denmark is no longer a country with a low risk of corruption in the field of defense.

This is the assessment of the global anti-corruption organization Transparency International, which has so far placed Denmark in the category of 'low' risk of corruption together with countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Norway, but which in a new barometer has placed Denmark in the category of 'moderate' risk of corruption. along with countries such as Italy, Columbia, France and India.

This is not least due to a number of very public cases of fraud, abuse of office and nepotism in the field of defense.

“The many critical cases testify that these are not only isolated problems, but that there are also systematic problems. This has contributed to Denmark no longer being able to belong to a category where everything is as it should be, «says Jesper Olsen, chairman of Transparency International Denmark.

“It shakes our self-understanding a bit. When we see examples of corruption and abuse of office, there is a tendency that we do not dare to believe that there are structural problems with corruption in Denmark. Instead, we continue to perceive it as individual cases, «says Jesper Olsen, who is also an external associate professor of public administration at the University of Copenhagen and himself a former civil servant.

While the Folketing and control authorities such as the National Audit Office generally exercise effective control over the authorities in the field of defense, Transparency International warns that "a marked increase in cases of corruption in the field of defense in recent years serves as a sharp warning against complacency", just as the organization points to legislative gaps and unregulated lobbying, which can have a negative impact on staffing and arms purchases.

Among the most sensational scandal cases in recent years is the nepotism case of Army Chief Hans-Christian Mathiesen, who last year was fired and sentenced to three months unconditional imprisonment for abusing his position to advance his girlfriend's career. A case that the then Chief of Defense Bjørn Bisserup refused to investigate when the defense media Olfi first uncovered the case.

All the way to the top​

But the arrow points not least to the Ministry of Defense, which has the overall responsibility for the Defense as well as the agencies for the military's procurement, personnel and properties.

Transparency International points to the fraud case in the Ministry of Defence's Property Agency, which broke out in light hat in 2019, when the National Audit Office revealed a critical lack of control over the agency's purchases, which had paved the way for fraud among employees.

More specifically, the organization points out that it subsequently emerged in Berlingske that the National Audit Office had previously warned the Ministry of Defense about the problem for two years.

»Audit reports are available to the public and are shared with parliamentary committees. However, there are signs that the Ministry of Defense does not react consistently to the results in practice and can be slow to act despite several warnings, "writes Transparency International, which also notes that the Ministry of Defense in the same case has failed to react for even longer. on their own internal warnings.

The Ministry of Defence's Internal Audit has warned of the exact same problem since 2013. But since the Ministry of Defense has seen the other way, the usefulness of the internal audit is ultimately questionable, the organization writes.

"Recent media reports have revealed how the Ministry of Defense has ignored several very critical warnings from the audit office, emphasizing that these results are not always appreciated," writes Transparency International.

At the same time, it reduces the assessment that there is a "very high" risk of corruption in connection with Denmark's missions abroad, where employees lack both precautions and training to avoid corruption.

Finally, Transparency International points to the Ministry of Defense's handling of the Public Access to Information Act. The ministry virtually never meets the seven-day deadline in cases of access to documents, and the ministry abuses the sections of the Public Access to Information Act to keep documents secret, the organization writes.

"The result is an increasingly pronounced lack of transparency in the Ministry of Defense, and the ministry's failure to comply with public law constitutes a significant democratic issue," writes Transparency International.

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Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen and Chief of Defense Flemming Lentfer during a parade in connection with Flag Day for Denmark's delegates in September 2021.
Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen.

Stairs must be washed from above​

Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen (S) - who last year had to deny to the Folketing's Defense Committee that she considers the Defense and the Ministry of Defense as "imbued with rot" - has in the wake of the many unwelcome cases made it a flagship case that she will sit in the pinnacle of a clean-up in the field of defense and 'put an end to the many bad cases'.

500 defense chiefs have been sent on a course in public administration, a whistleblower scheme has been set up, and 'failure to respond to inquiries into cases of fraud and abuse of power' will in future be met with 'influence on career opportunities'.

“Among other things, a new whistleblower scheme, chief focus and transparency in processes was introduced. The ministry is not on target yet but is working purposefully in the area, «as a press adviser writes to Berlingske.

In a word, the Ministry of Defense does not relate to the fact that the problems largely lie with the ministry itself.

And it is difficult to see how the Ministry of Defense should come to terms with the promised clean-up, when the ministry and Trine Bramsen themselves do not communicate more openly about the problems, Jesper Olsen points out.

"I think that for many years the political side has neglected to do something about the problems. The list of all the good initiatives is equivalent to just saying that you have booked an appointment with the hairdresser. Credibility comes from openness about the difficult, ”he says.

Not a word about own problems​

A well-known example is that the fraud case in the Ministry of Defense's Property Agency did not have consequences for the ministry's then head of department Thomas Ahrenkiel, who for years had been personally warned about the fraud risk by the ministry's own internal control unit. A situation that the Ministry of Defense tried to keep hidden from the public until it could no longer be done.

“The Minister was very quick to say that she would now address the issue. But then you have to hold on. I would think that it is damn difficult to implement changes when you let the former head of department sit despite some of the same issues as in the rest of the system, "says Jesper Olsen.

"Stairs need to be washed from above," he says.

Berlingske has asked whether the Ministry of Defense itself intends to contribute to the problem that the ministry is working to solve.

"The Ministry of Defense has no further to add," a press adviser replied.

‘That kind of closedness is a big part of the problem. At the political level, Denmark is an enormously closed society. It is a cultural challenge because the politicians want control over the story, "says Jesper Olsen.

Berlingske has also asked how the public should have confidence in the promised clean-up and transparency when the ministry refuses to talk about problems in its own ranks. The ministry does not respond.

 

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The old article refered to.

Former Commander-in-Chief H.-C. Mathiesen is facing dismissal after the district court's prison sentence​

Of
Kasper Junge Wester and Peter Ernstved Rasmussen
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September 17, 2020
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The former army chief H.-C. After the verdict for abuse of office, Mathiesen is no longer employed by the Armed Forces, confirms Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen (S). Stock Photo: Ernstved

Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen is due to be fired after the Western High Court's sentence of three months' imprisonment. This is confirmed by the Minister of Defense in a written response to Bent Bøgsted (DF). According to the Royal House, he has also handed over his commander's cross.​

The former army chief Hans-Christian Mathiesen is probably not employed in the Armed Forces much longer. On 24 August, a verdict was handed down in the appeal case at the Western High Court in Viborg, and here the sentence for attempted abuse of office, gross negligence and breach of confidentiality was assessed at three months' unconditional imprisonment. The verdict was a sharpening of the sentence by one month in relation to the district court, and the final verdict has now cost H.-C. Mathiesen officer career.

This is confirmed by Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen (S) in a written answer to Bent Bøgsted (DF), who through the Folketing's Defense Committee has asked the Minister about the former army chief's salary conditions, while the case has been investigated and taken to court.
The article continues below the picture…
TEASER HC
Click on the picture if you want to read the article about army chief and major general Hans-Christian Mathiesen's handling of a boyfriend relationship - now marriage - with a younger and female major…

H.-C. Mathiesen was exempted from service all the way back in October 2018 as a result of OLFI's revelations of how he had helped his girlfriend into the prestigious master's degree in Military Studies and the operations and leadership training by changing the admission criteria. Since then, he has gone home, and during the long process, the former army chief has thus been paid according to current rules, writes Trine Bramsen.

‘An employee who is examined by the employer may be exempted from service. Employees who are exempt from service are entitled to full pay. An official can also be suspended, for example when the person in question is charged with having committed something criminal. When an official is suspended, he is entitled to 2/3 of his salary. The Ministry of Defence's Personnel Agency has stated that the former chief of the Army Staff has on the above basis had his salary reduced according to the rules during the case, «it appears from the minister's response.

Mathiesen has handed over his commander's cross to the Royal House​

After the sharpening of the verdict in the appeal case at the Western High Court in Viborg, however, there is nothing more to do for Mathiesen, whose career in the Armed Forces seems to be coming to an end soon.

"In general, it can be stated that an employment relationship in the Armed Forces as a result of a conviction that results in a prison sentence is brought to an end," Trine Bramsen writes in her reply to Bent Bøgsted.

With the jail sentence and termination, H.-C. Mathiesen also handed over his commander's cross of the Dannebro Order. The Royal House informs OLFI that Hans-Christian Mathiesen has, of his own accord, approached to hand over his order. Thus, two final sentences have been put in the lengthy case that began in the early summer of 2017 with a letter from an anonymous sender to OLFI urging to look the army commander's obvious favoritism of his girlfriend in the seams.

CORRECTION: It originally appeared in the article that Hans-Christian Mathiesen has already been fired. This is not the case. The former chief of the Army Staff is formally still employed in the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Defense announces. OLFI apologizes for the error.

 

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The article about the Boyfriend and girlfriend relation.

LONG READ: Army Chief and Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen's girlfriend relationship and now marriage to a younger female officer has tortured the Army Staff and the Army for several years. Sources accuse the army chief of abuse of power and nepotism, but after OLFI's intense research, he has now removed his wife from the Army and is no longer chief of her commanders. Professor of Law believes that the Major General has repeatedly violated the Public Administration Act, and a professor of public management speaks of a "sick management culture in the Armed Forces".​

More than 14 months. For so long, Army Chief and Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen has refused to stand for an interview on the case that OLFI today chooses to describe. But the first Friday in October, he was suddenly ready - on the phone from Washington. Like that then.

"I do not speak in personal matters." "You have received an answer to that." "I refer to the answer given." "I do not know". "I can not remember. And by the way, you have to look at the answers that you have already received. "You keep asking for something I have not been involved in." "I will not go into what we are talking about at home." "I just think I have the answer to that question."

After slipping away on most issues, time quickly slipped up in the busy general's pressured calendar.
"I have to tell you that time is running out in relation to what I have the opportunity to set aside of time for this conversation."

I have quite a few more questions. Do I get the opportunity to ask them, or do I not get the opportunity to ask them?
"I do not know. For now, I have now lined up. "

And I have asked you to line up for a further interview at a later date (to answer the remaining questions, ed.). So I'm just asking you to answer when that can be done?
"I do not know at this time."

So I do not get answers to further questions?
"No. You do not. You do not. Goodbye."

And then the Major General hung up.

Revolt throughout the Army​

Let it be said at once. It is a delicate matter that OLFI today chooses to describe. It is about love between two people who live and work together. History is rich in this kind of relationship - also in the Armed Forces, where many in uniform share both a workplace and a marriage bed. Most, however, do it in a way so that love is kept private behind the four walls of the home to avoid the murmur in the hooks, gossip and rumors among colleagues, bosses and subordinates.

However, the same cautious approach to a relationship with a colleague can not be blamed on army chief and Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen for living out. The Major General speaks in everyday speech under the abbreviation "HC". He is a former head of communications in the Armed Forces and years ago became friends with LGV - a subordinate, female officer, who today has the rank of major, and who in recent years has worked in the Army Staff in Karup under the general. In the spring they got married, and today they both bear the name Mathiesen.

For this article, OLFI has spoken to a large number of sources who describe an extremely problematic relationship within the Army Staff, which has resulted in what can best be described as an undermining of confidence in the Army's leadership. But the relationship between Hans-Christian Mathiesen and his girlfriend - now wife - also contains a large number of incidents, which have helped to make colleagues' views on the relationship strained. But what is that story about then? It wrote an anonymous source in a physical letter addressed to OLFI in the early summer of 2017.

‘What is probably punishable is the general’s overt and extreme nepotism. To advance his partner's career, he has taken very little appetizing steps. It is completely unheard of and it has created a rebellious mood among both her peers (her competitors) and everyone else. Poor management is not illegal. But it is extremely worrying that the Armed Forces' top management is not doing anything about the matter, "the source wrote.

Mrs. Mathiesen no longer works in the Army​

The research into this story began at OLFI in the summer of 2017 and in this connection expressed a desire for an interview with both army chief Hans-Christian Mathiesen and his then girlfriend. Initially, OLFI was promised an interview with her boyfriend, but since then she changed her mind based on advice from the press section of the Joint Defense Command.

"In relation to the interview with LGV and the chief of the Army Staff, they have, on the advice of the Press Section, chosen to say no thank you, as these are private matters."

OLFI has therefore requested a number of access to documents and asked a large number of questions of a factual nature by e-mail, which have been answered with so-called authority answers. The response time has typically been several weeks and in several cases over a month. The answers have most often resulted in further questions, and in that way the months have passed, just as the conclusion of a new defense agreement delayed the research. As recently as 20 June this year, OLFI sent an email to the Army Staff with 13 questions, but only an answer came almost two months later - on 17 August - after three reminders and a complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

When OLFI judged at the end of September to have enough documentation to write the story, Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen received one last offer to stand for interview. He accepted this, and in this connection he had an important answer as to why:

»The short version is that I am aware that my private relationship with LG Mathiesen has led to speculation. Nobody deserves it. It's bad for all of us, and something has now been done about it. So LG Mathiesen is no longer serving in the Army, and I am no longer the head of her commanders. "

It requires an explanation, and it comes here.

Changed admission criteria in secret​

2014 was a special year in the Danish army. After more than 10 years of war, the last Danish combat troops returned home from Helmand Province in Afghanistan in May. This happened largely at the same time as the Defense Academy's admissions committee at Svanemøllen's Barracks on 14 May was to decide who would be admitted to the newly established Master in Military Studies (MMS). The education replaced the previous staff course and together with the Operations and Leadership Education (OFU) constituted what in the past went under the name VUT-II (Further Education Step 2). The new master's program is one of the finest programs in the Armed Forces, and like its predecessor, the MMS is today a necessary entry requirement for the highest military positions in the armed forces from the level of lieutenant colonel and upwards.

For the same reason, only the most skilled and highly qualified officers from all three armies will be admitted. The competition is fierce and the criteria are clear. Since the Army has sent hundreds of young first lieutenants and captains on missions in Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali and Sudan since the war in the Balkans in the early 1990s, it has since been an unavoidable demand from the army leadership that Army officers should have experience from international missions. Or rather - they should be right up until 2014.

"Yes. I remember so much that in connection with our return from Afghanistan, it will be the subject of discussion in the Army's leadership whether it should still and still be an unconditional requirement, "says Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen, who at the time was Colonel and Chief of Staff (Deputy Commander) of the then Army Operational Command.

The article continues below the picture…

20181009 hans christian mathiesen


Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen has been Chief of the Army Staff since 1 October 2014. Photo: The Armed Forces
Even though the last combat troops from Helmand had not yet returned home in the early spring of 2014, and the Army was still participating in a number of international missions around the world, the demand for international service was gone. And it was obviously going to go strong. But it was not officially announced that in the spring of 2014, the Army changed the criteria for admission to the absolutely crucial education to get to the top of the military hierarchy. Therefore, the applicants from the Army also did not know that international experience was no longer an unconditional requirement, or - there was obviously one who did.

At the end of the application deadline, Hans-Christian Mathiesen's girlfriend's name was among the 155 applicants for a place on the Master in Military Studies. LGV had attended the officer basic training (OGU) in the period from 2000-2003, and after completing Continuing Education Step 1 (VUT-1) and appointment as captain, she had served as head of two conscript basic training batteries at the Danish Artillery Regiment for a total period of one and a half years. from 2010 to 2012. In the winter of 2014, she worked in the then Armed Forces Personnel Service's HR Partner Element in the Army Staff, where she through the work with personnel management had gained a good insight into the Army's organization, work and future tasks, just as she had gained insight into the Armed Forces HR -strategy. But she had never been sent on an international mission and was therefore - thought her peers - not at all in the game for this highly coveted education for the sharpest brains in the Armed Forces. But they needed to get smarter.

Such a mess​

In 2014, there were 50 places on the newly created Master of Military Studies, and of those, 25 were allocated to the Army. But since 12 army officers had already been secured a place on MMS through their admission to the Operations and Leadership Training in 2013/2014, there were actually only 13 places for the 97 applicants from the Army. OLFI has spoken to sources who, prior to the decision on the candidates' admission to MMS in 2014, had insight into the process for the Army. According to one source, LGV was on the gross list of applicants, but not on the priority list with the names of the 13 candidates who were to be admitted from the Army. Suddenly, however, remarkable things happened that made the source go to his own boss. To this, the source said according to his own statement:

"If LGV is recorded on MMS, I'm quitting!"

Shortly afterwards, the LGV was on the priority list from the Army, and when the admissions committee at the Defense Academy had voted on that day in May 2014 , the LGV was among the 13 enlisted army officers on the Master in Military Studies. When the list of enlisted men became known, OLFI's source quit his job in the Armed Forces.

“For me, it was the insight into how things actually go in the Armed Forces that made the difference. I could not have that at all. I felt physically bad about witnessing what was going on. I could not accommodate such filth at all. As a soldier, there is no point in having integrity if you work in a system that is completely devoid of it. Therefore, it was not difficult for me to stop. The experience with LGV was just the last nail in the coffin - albeit a very large nail, "says the source.

Another source tells how Colonel Hans-Christian Mathiesen played a major role in prioritizing the list of Army candidates for admission to the Master of Military Studies in 2014.

“We wondered how HC could be at the very heart of the process when he simultaneously shared a bed and dining table with one of the candidates on the list. HC ran the race all the way until a day or a half before the admissions committee was to convene. He declared himself incompetent so late that one could no longer manage to change the priority. I remember my indignation and how I thought it was well enough cleverly done. He promoted his girlfriend all the way to the bus, and then he withdrew a few hours before the decision, "says the source, whose information raises an important question for Hans-Christian Mathiesen:

When LGV applied for admission to the Master of Military Studies in 2014, you were still working as Chief of Staff in the Army's Operational Command. Before you declared yourself incompetent, did you have any influence on who should be recorded on MMS?
"You have received an answer to that," says Hans-Christian Mathiesen.

But the army chief is not right. 'Major General H.-C. Mathiesen was not a member of the admissions committee, «the Army Staff wrote in an official response to OLFI on 27 September 2017 without answering whether he had an influence on the election.

Now I'm asking you here?
"I refer to the answer that has been given," says Hans-Christian Mathiesen on the phone.

In order to check the source's information about the time of Hans-Christian Mathiesen's declaration of incapacity, OLFI has sought access to this from the Army Staff. Men…

"It has not been possible to find documents that show this declaration of incapacity," writes Værnsfælles Forsvarskommando in an email to OLFI on 17 August 2018.

Professor sees girlfriend's recording on MMS as nepotism​

It is an interesting piece of information for several reasons. Section 3 of the Public Administration Act states that one is "incompetent in relation to a specific case if the person in question has a special personal or financial interest in the outcome of the case", and further in subsection 2 that this also applies to spouses and boyfriends. In section 6, it can be read that one must "as soon as possible" "inform one's superior within the authority of this," if one thinks one is incompetent. Sten Bønsing is a professor of law at Aalborg University and an expert in administrative law and official abuse. He likes to explain what it means.

»This means that Hans-Christian Mathiesen must inform the Chief of Defense that he is incompetent. In this briefing, he must explain why he thinks he is incompetent and at the same time describe in detail how he has solved the problem - for example by staying at a long distance from the process. When the recruitment committee on the recommendation of the Army Staff then chooses to recruit the person who is the cause of the incapacity, the army chief must be extra careful to explain why this person is qualified, "he says.

The question then is when to declare one's incapacity and can one wait until the last minute as the source describes? No, says Professor Sten Bønsing.

“In the case of incapacity, the consequence is that one has to stay out of every single part of such a case. This means that you have to stay away from everything that has to do with preparation, committee processing, grants and everything else. It is not sufficient to stay out of the formal recruitment committee alone or to declare oneself incompetent in connection with the individual decision. Every administrative preparatory step must be completely eliminated. In this case, it should happen when the army chief becomes aware that his girlfriend would apply for admission on MMS, "says Sten Bønsing.

What is your assessment of Hans-Christian Mathiesen's actions, if he has acted as the sources describe?
"Then he has acted in violation of the rules of incapacity."

What does it mean?
'This means that there is a basis for a disciplinary response and, in principle, also a criminal sanction. But the latter is probably not likely in this case. "

The article continues below the graphic…

Screenshot 2018 10 14 kl.  10.58.24
Excerpts from the Public Administration Act. Click on the picture to read the full text on retsinformation.dk…
 

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In order to check the information on the qualifications of those admitted to VUT-II and MMS, in the autumn of 2017 OLFI asked the Armed Forces how many officers from the Army have been admitted to these two educations in the period 2007-2017 without having experience from a deployment in a international mission. In a written response, the Armed Forces states that "it is not possible with a few simple commands to withdraw an overview from 2007". But since 2014, only one Army officer with no experience of a mission in an international mission has been admitted to the Master of Military Studies. The army officer is Army Chief Hans-Christian Mathiesen's girlfriend, LGV.

OLFI has asked Sten Bønsing whether he believes that Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen, in the case of LGV's admission to the Master in Military Studies, is practicing nepotism. According to the definition in Gyldendal's "Store Danske", this means that "a person accommodates and prefers relatives and friends over others, especially when filling positions in the public sector". But nepotism is not a legal concept, and therefore the professor can not say anything about it. Anders Drejer, who is a professor of economics and management in the public administration, can do this. He does not hesitate to call Hans-Christian Mathiesen's action nepotism. But Anders Drejer is neither surprised nor shaken.

»I have experienced too many top managers who can not control themselves, and Hans-Christian Mathiesen clearly can not either. Based on your material, it is indisputable that LGV can not be recorded on MMS without someone helping her. He was obviously involved in the process for a very long time, until he declared himself incompetent at the last minute. It smells far away. If there was a good explanation, one should probably have reported it with documentation of why she was qualified. You choose not to do that. If it goes, then it goes, and it obviously did, by the way. The fact that LGV can be admitted to MMS without international experience is enormously negative and demotivating for all army officers who could run for office. "

Did not re-advertise the position - it got the girlfriend​

Half a year after LGV's surprising admission to the Master in Military Studies, the Army's Operational Command was abolished on 1 October 2014 and replaced by the Army Staff. In this connection, Hans-Christian Mathiesen was appointed Major General and new Chief of Staff. As one of the first, he decided to set up the project office "Army Soldiers 2025", which aimed "to develop, implement and coordinate initiatives to ensure broad recruitment to as well as retention and development of personnel in the Army until 2025".

As part of the project, the Army Staff decided to create a caseworker position in pay group 5 corresponding to majors and war captains. In December 2015 , you could read from the job advertisement that “we expect you to have completed Continuing Education Step II (staff course) or another similar course. If you are a student at the Defense Academy with a view to completing a Master's degree in Military Studies, you can be hired against the conclusion of an education agreement. We expect you to have a good and broad knowledge of the Army's organization, operations and future task solution, just as you have a good insight into the Armed Forces' HR strategy. It will be an advantage if you have experience in personnel management '.

According to a large number of sources that OLFI has spoken to, many gave up shaking their heads when the position was posted.

‘It was obvious that that position was designed for HC’s girlfriend. You could therefore just as well refrain from seeking it, "says an officer in the Army.

At the end of the application deadline on 15 January 2016, the project office "Army Soldiers 2025" was able to gather the applications together and begin the work of assessing the candidates. Or that is to say the candidate, because according to an official response from the Army Staff, there was only one applicant in the pile. It was Hans-Christian Mathiesen's girlfriend, LGV. OLFI has therefore asked the Army Staff whether the position was re-advertised due to the low number of applicants.

“No, the position was not re-posted. Major LGV was given the position after a concrete assessment of the major's competencies in relation to the functional requirements, which i.a. is described in the job posting. The assessment was made by the recruitment committee on the basis of a recruitment interview. When the major was assessed to be able to meet the requirements for the function, no need was found to re-advertise the position, «writes the Army Staff in an email to OLFI on 1 February 2018.

Does not comment on private conversations​

Now it could be interesting to hear Hans-Christian Mathiesen, whether in connection with the establishment of the project office "Army Soldiers 2025" talked with his girlfriend LGV about the position and the opportunity to apply for it. Maybe he just talked to her about what she should write in her application, so that the recruitment committee under Hans-Christian Mathiesen would hire LGV in the position?

Did you ever talk to LGV about this position before the application deadline expired?
"I do not remember that, and otherwise I refer to the answers we have given," says Hans-Christian Mathiesen.

So you have not given her any good advice on what she should write in her application?
"Again, I refer to the answers I have given."

Has LGV at any time talked to you privately about applying for the position in the project office "Army Soldiers 2025"?
“I do not comment at all on what is going on in our private lives. It is not at all relevant to what is going on in this conversation. "

Can you deny that you have at any time talked privately about LGV having that position?
"I will not go into what we are talking about at home."

Were you at any point in doubt that she would get the position?
"I just think I have the answer to that question."

Hans-Christian Mathiesen therefore believes that he has already answered these questions. OLFI can hereby refute this, as OLFI has never asked the above questions to the Army Staff. According to an official response from the Joint Defense Command on 17 September 2017, the recruitment committee in connection with the caseworker position in "Army Soldiers 2025" consisted of three people. It was Lieutenant Colonel Bjarne Møller, who was head of the command element in the Army Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Anders B. Olesen, who was appointed head of the project, and Colonel Keld Robert Christensen, who is Deputy Chief of the Army Staff. But the interesting thing is whether Army Chief and Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen had an influence on the employment of his own girlfriend in a position below himself.

I would like to ask you about the recruitment committee when she was hired. As the head of the Army Staff, did you have any influence on who was hired for the position?
"We have already answered that, and the answer is no. I can not be involved in anything that pertains to my own private relationship with anyone who enters into a private relationship with me. Then I'm incompetent. "

Do you think that Bjarne Møller, Anders B. Olesen and Keld Christensen may in some way have experienced pressure to hire LGV, who was your girlfriend and lived privately with their own boss?
»How should I know that from? Now we move on in questions and I have just indicated that my time has passed. So unfortunately we have to quit now. "

Have you ever considered whether hiring LGV in a position below yourself could be considered a problem?
"You do not agree that we say goodbye? I have to point out that I have another program that I must prioritize now, "says Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen.

Raised the joint household income by almost DKK 90,000.​

As in the case of LGV's admission to the Master in Military Studies, law professor Sten Bønsing does not believe that there is any doubt about Hans-Christian Mathiesen's incapacity in relation to the employment of LGV in the project office that the army chief himself had set up.

“If there was only one applicant and it was the army chief's girlfriend, the army chief, due to his incapacity, has a duty to orient upwards in the system. I must think that in this case the army chief must inform the defense chief that there was only one applicant and that it was the army chief's girlfriend. He has that duty because there is a widespread suspicion that the organization is making the decision that was most favorable to the army chief. "

And if he has not sent such an orientation?
"Then it is in violation of the current rules for incapacity, and it is in itself in principle a misdemeanor," says Sten Bønsing.

Based on Sten Bønsing's information, OLFI has sought access to documents in Hans-Christian Mathiesen's possible notification to the Chief of Defense of his incapacity. But "The Joint Defense Command has not identified documents covered by the request," the command wrote in a response to OLFI on October 18 this year.

Professor Anders Drejer also does not believe that there is any doubt about Hans-Christian Mathiesen's incompetence in hiring LGV in a position under the army chief. And not only that.

“I do not know how many others have the completely unique profile like her. But there are not many majors for a position in Karup, which requires insight into the Armed Forces' HR strategy and experience in personnel management. Especially not among those who have been at war and been on the same MMS training as LGV. For me to see, there is no doubt that this is nepotism. That notice was written for her, and then of course she also gets the job, "he says.

Thus, LGV got the position as caseworker in the project office "Army Soldiers 2025", and on 1 July 2016 she was able to take up her new job in the Army Staff at Karup Air Base about 30 km from her and Hans-Christian Mathiesen's joint home in Viborg. Upon his appointment, Army Chief and Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen stepped up and said a few heartfelt, laudatory words to his new employee, newly appointed major - and cohabiting girlfriend.

The new working conditions had a number of advantages, which in addition to the purely practical ones were also economic. Typically, an officer is not appointed major until he or she has completed a Master's degree in Military Studies. However, in special cases, an officer may be appointed on a training agreement, even if the study has not yet been completed. LGV got such an agreement and thus overtook all its "peers" colleagues within not just in rank, but to a large extent also in salary.

According to the Ministry of Defence's Personnel Agency, a serving captain (M321) in April 2016 received a basic salary of DKK 28,121.36 per month. In addition, there was a military supplement of DKK 1,836.62 and an education supplement of DKK 2,034.02. This gave a monthly salary before tax of DKK 31,992. At the same time, a serving major (M331) received a basic salary of DKK 32,958.20 per month. In addition, there was a military supplement of DKK 1,836.62 and an education supplement of DKK 4,608.72. This gave a monthly salary before tax of DKK 39,403.54 - ie DKK 7,411.54 more per month. With the employment of his cohabiting girlfriend LGV in the caseworker position under himself, LGV and Hans-Christian Mathiesen's total private household income in the detached house in Viborg thus grew by DKK 88,938.48 per year.

Professor Anders Drejer does not hesitate to give his assessment of what the economy has meant for LGV's colleagues in the Army Staff and around the Army.

"I can not imagine that LGV has had quite a few people to talk to other than 'HC', because it undoubtedly creates envy, dissatisfaction and anger."

Appears devoid of humility and respect for office​

Now, one would think that a loving couple, who share both home and workplace, walk quietly through the doors about their private relationship when they work. But this has at no time been the case for Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen and Major LGV.

»I have experienced colleagues who hold meetings in the toilet to avoid information coming to" HC "or his girlfriend. The trust in the army chief and his girlfriend (now wife, ed.) Does not exist, and you make sure to walk quietly through the doors, "says a source in the Army Staff.

Other sources tell of meetings at a lower level in the Army Staff, where the girlfriend - now the wife - has interrupted meeting participants with the message that "this is not what" HC "wants". Still others tell of orders from the army chief, which according to the sources can only be based on information that the army chief has received through his girlfriend. OLFI is aware of concrete examples, which, however, due to confidentiality and wishes for anonymity, it is not possible to describe in detail.

The sources speak of a widespread bad mood and awkward situations in which both the army chief and his girlfriend and now wife appear completely devoid of humility, situational awareness and respect for the office. As an anonymous reader of OLFI writes in a physical letter addressed to the editors.

"The situation in the Army Staff is critical - and thus critical in the entire Army. The Chief of the Army Staff - Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen - leads the Army with unprecedented arrogance. As a consequence, the mood and atmosphere of the Army Staff is unbearable. The frustrations of the personnel permeate everyday life, and this affects the efficiency of the Army. "

In the autumn of 2017, the Ministry of Defence's Personnel Agency committed a serious foot error regarding some legal matters in connection with the employment of a number of officers widely throughout the Armed Forces. The officers' association HOD went into the matter, which meant that the personnel board, against its will, had to mass-appoint more than half a hundred officers from the management group in all three armies to a higher rank on the so-called training agreements. About half of them were first lieutenants and captains of the Army. Shortly afterwards, 15-18 of the Army Staff's leading officers were sitting in the cafeteria in Karup, when Army Chief Hans-Christian Mathiesen came in and complained loudly.

"When the hell did we start naming 331s in the Army who are not fully trained?!," He said, according to OLFI's source - referring to the personnel code for a military major - M331.

The episode underlined for many what LGV's employment on a training agreement under Army Chief Hans-Christian Mathiesen exhibits. That there is a discrimination that the army chief apparently cannot see for himself. That he could hire and appoint his own girlfriend as Major M331 on an education contract, but others should not enjoy the same benefits.

“Internally in the Army Staff, there is no longer any respect for the office, and that is because of that boyfriend relationship and now marriage. We allow loving couples and married couples around the units. But we only do that for so long that it is unproblematic. This is not the case. But no one dares to do anything about it. No one dares to go against HC, because they are all afraid of him, and so am I. If I appeared by name in this article, I might as well go out and shoot myself in the yard, "says a source in the Army Staff to OLFI.

Completely loses confidence in that man and in the system​

If you as an officer in the Army have first been admitted to the very theoretical Master in Military Studies, many will often also apply for admission to the Operations and Leadership Training (OFU). It is aimed directly at officers, who in practice must lead large army forces at battalion level and up, and together with MMS, it is the entry requirement for the highest positions in the Armed Forces. Or as a former teacher at the program says:

»The operational leadership training or an equivalent foreign course is the prerequisite for becoming a battalion commander in the Army. So there is no doubt that the big elimination race among captains in the Army is whether you can get to OFU or not. "

LGV also had this wish, and in 2016 she therefore applied for admission in parallel with her position in the Army Staff and the studies at the Master in Military Studies. For an applicant like LGV, however, the challenge with admission to the Operations and Leadership program is that it requires operational experience as a commander to an even greater degree than the Master in Military Studies. It appears i.a. of the form used by the Armed Forces to assess the candidates, which is confusingly similar to the form for assessing candidates for the Master of Military Studies. Under the item "overall assessment of previous service", the candidates are assessed on the basis of their "managerial work", deployment in international operations called "INTOPS" and "other functions".

The article continues below the graphic…

20181008 FPS Schedule
 

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It was this form that was used to assess the candidates for the Master of Military Studies in 2014 when the Army Chief's girlfriend applied for admission. It appears from column 5 that INTOPS (International Operations) accounted for 1/3 of the overall assessment of service to date. click on the graphic if you want to see it in full size… Source: The Ministry of Defence's Personnel Agency
»In her schedule, there has been a huge minus at INTOPS. And it has clearly dragged down in relation to the prioritization that she has been given. It is striking when you consider that she has been in competition with some of the Army's most talented officers, who all had experience from international missions, "says a source who himself has been involved in selecting candidates for admission to the Operations and The leadership training.

In the case of LGV, however, the lack of experience was not a problem. Out of 60 applicants from the Army, she was selected among the 14 who were admitted to the Operations and Leadership Training in 2016. As one of her male classmates puts it:

»The Danish army is small, and we know each other across the board. Everyone knew that LGV had done nothing but be the commander of a basic training battery for some conscripts in the artillery. So she has neither operational nor international experience. It is with all the skilled officers - not least the women - who have been to Afghanistan several times away from families and children that her admission to MMS and in particular OFU hits hardest. You completely lose confidence in such a man as H.-C. Mathiesen and to the system that allows it. Basically, I actually feel sorry for LGV. It's the general who is the fool. "

According to law professor Sten Bønsing, Hans-Christian Mathiesen should have informed the Chief of Defense of his incapacity in connection with LGV's admission to the Operations and Leadership Training. But "Værnsfælles Forsvarskommando has not identified documents covered by the access to documents", the command writes in a reply to OLFI on 18 October this year.

My little operative gem​

On June 26, 2017, LGV was able to write on Facebook that it was now her turn to complete the operational leadership training, and that she did so with a 10-figure.

»Jubii. I am so proud of my operative gem, "commented Hans-Christian Mathiesen.

It was a comment that fell many army officers to the chest.
"It's so disgusting to watch," as one source tells OLFI.

At Aalborg University, Professor Anders Drejer is completely in line with the source. He is surprised that Hans-Christian Mathiesen may have been head of communications in the Armed Forces, because according to the professor he is not good at communicating.

"It's simply stupid to call her 'my operative gem' in a comment on Facebook. Everyone reads it, and everyone knows that exactly she is not operative. It is to pee on all those who did not enter the course, those who go on it, and those who have gone on it. She is not an operative gem because she has no operative experience. He should have said anything but exactly that, and if he can not see it himself, he is tone deaf. "

Although Army Chief Hans-Christian Mathiesen only had a short time to talk to OLFI on the phone from Washington, he managed to answer a few questions about his girlfriend's admission to the Operations and Leadership Training in 2016.

Can you name examples of other army officers who have been recruited without having experience of international operations?
"Yes I can do that. If you go far enough back, there is someone you are talking to now. "

How far back are we?
"I was at OFU in 1989-1990."

That was also before we got involved in the Balkans?
»Yes, and the terms change. And it has also been explained in the long series of questions that you have received over more than a year, and I refer to them. "

Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen thus believes that the Army Staff has answered the above questions in writing. OLFI can hereby reject this. The Army Staff has sent some general answers, which inform about the current criteria for admission to the Master in Military Studies and the Operations and Leadership Training.

Grams on the girls, get a written warning and be appointed deputy chief of defense​

According to OLFI's sources, the story of Hans-Christian Mathiesen and LGV goes far beyond the relationship between two people who love each other and live and work together. It says something about the leadership culture at the top of the military hierarchy. And it is a culture that, according to OLFI's sources, causes the system to degenerate, and the foundation in the form of committed employees to crumble.

“The top management of the Armed Forces was made aware of the situation years ago, but nothing has happened. I hope that you will find it worthwhile to write about the conditions and thus contribute to solving their destructive effect, «reads the prayer in the anonymous letter from spring 2017 from an employee of the Army Staff.

Several highlight the fact that it was Lieutenant General Per Ludvigsen who, as head of the Army's Operational Command in the spring of 2014, was the guarantor of LGV's qualifications for a place among the 13 best out of 97 applicants. Per Ludvigsen had a few years before received a written warning for what in the Armed Forces is called "gender-abusing behavior" or in Danish sexual harassment. He had also had to write an apology letter for punching a British aviation general in the chest in a drunken and agitated state during a stay in Poland. And now, according to the sources, he was helping to send his deputy commander's girlfriend off on an education that others were better qualified for.

Also read: Outgoing Deputy Chief of Defense received written warning for inappropriate behavior

With the reorganization of the Army's Operational Command into the Army Staff, Per Ludvigsen himself was appointed lieutenant general and deputy chief of defense. He retired a year ago and is today a senior adviser in the consulting company Struensee & Co., which i.a. solves consulting tasks for the Armed Forces. OLFI has tried in vain to obtain Per Ludvigsen's comments on the information in this article.

Another key player, according to OLFI's sources, is Laila Reenberg. They say that as director of the Ministry of Defence's Personnel Agency, she has been both knowledgeable and instrumental in keeping the hand under both Hans-Christian Mathiesen and LGV. She has most likely also been involved in the current relocation of LGV from the Army to a position outside the Army. Hans-Christian Mathiesen does not want to disclose where.

The article continues below the picture…

20180913 TEASER FPS
Click on the picture to read the article about the management experts' cash advice to Anders Friis and Laila Reenberg…
Laila Reenberg has consistently refused to answer questions about the case to OLFI, which she calls a 'personnel case'. In the same way that she through September has refused to answer questions about the order of her spouse - Commander Anders Friis - in the coveted position as commander of 2nd Squadron, without this position at any time being vacated. All this takes place without the top management of the Armed Forces raising an eyebrow.

OLFI has twice spoken with Chief of Defense Bjørn Bisserup about the case and asked him to comment on it. He explains that he can not take responsibility for what happened before his inauguration as Chief of Defense in January 2017, and in addition, he does not want to comment on specific personnel matters. But based on his knowledge of the case, he does not believe that "there is anything to come after".

“I think a lot of people meet their partners in workplaces around the country. Therefore, there will also be dating within the Armed Forces, and I see no problem in that. In general and without relating to the specific case, it is clear that you should always consider whether it is appropriate and you should therefore avoid making oneself vulnerable in relation to that kind of thing, «says General Bjørn Bisserup.

A disaster that testifies to a sick management culture​

An officer with knowledge of the case does not hesitate to place overall responsibility with Bjørn Bisserup, who according to several sources has received repeated warnings without doing anything about the case.

“When management does nothing about it, it has to do with a bad management culture. The behavior of the former Deputy Chief of Defense was also accepted. In the Armed Forces, you can yell at the girls, get a written warning and be promoted to deputy chief of defense. You can hire your own girlfriend and make sure she gets the right educations and is appointed major - and moreover by her behavior decide what people on several levels above her should write, say, think and do. One can not object to LGV's wishes, so we have learned to leave it at that. I can not document anything without revealing names. But I can explain to you what I see. If you ask me, this is an abuse of power, and it's worse than you think. The director of the personnel board is involved. I had naively thought that the Chief of Defense or the Director of the Personnel Board would intervene. But they know the problem, and I really just think they support it, "said the officer.

The article continues below the picture…

TEASER Ludvigsen
This weekend you can read OLFI's interview with Deputy Chief of Defense Per Ludvigsen, who has been a prominent and controversial person in recent Danish military history. Photo: Ernstved
The question then is, how serious is this case for Major General and Army Chief Hans-Christian Mathiesen? According to law professor Sten Bønsing , the army chief was incompetent in the admission of LGV to the educations MMS and OFU, just as he was in the employment of her in the case officer position in the project office "Army Soldiers 2025".

"I do not think it is up for discussion whether the Chief of Defense should have been informed about the cases. He should, and lack of information will be in conflict with the duty to notify in section 6 of the Public Administration Act, «says Sten Bønsing.

But not only that. The army chief has apparently given himself legal powers which he does not have. It appears from the Public Administration Act § 6 para. 3.
“One cannot declare oneself incompetent. The law states that the person in question may not participate in the issue and the negotiation of incapacity himself. "

What does it mean if you do that?
"Then you act in violation of the rules."

With all that this case contains - the boyfriend's admission to two educations on special terms and employment under the army chief with appointment as major conditional on admission to one education, self-declaration of incapacity and lack of briefings upwards in the system - how serious is the whole case so ?

»It is difficult to bend. An authority has a very free framework to assess how much it will assert a liability. But I would say that such a situation that you have uncovered will typically lead to more than just a conversation in the Chief of Defense's office. You will at least give a reprimand, and as far as you can go higher, there is a considerable freedom of discretion. "

The defense has an interest in keeping the case as subdued as possible. Who decides how big a case it will be?
"It will typically be the Chief of Defense, but it can also be the Minister of Defense."

At Aalborg University, management professor Anders Drejer's conclusion is ruthless, and according to him, the consequences of Army Chief Hans-Christian Mathiesen's actions and lack of the same are serious.

“This case uncovers three clear examples of nepotism, which is wildly demotivating for all employees. They make a smaller effort than they would have made if they had respect for the army chief and for the top leadership. Demotivation is a huge force which is enormously negative and it would be galimatias to claim that this case has no damaging effects. You yourself have documented that at least one officer has resigned because of it. It's a disaster. The case suggests that it is not a question of a single "evil" man in the form of Hans-Christian Mathiesen appearing. No, it's a sick culture, and it comes from management. Who started it, I do not know. But it suggests that others than Hans-Christian Mathiesen have said that “it's enough. We just declare ourselves incompetent, cover ourselves under a personnel case and do not answer questions ”. If you, as top management in the Armed Forces, the National Personnel Agency and the Army Staff, took this seriously, then you had a fantastically good explanation of how all this could have taken place. But you do not have that. The refusal to appear for the interview, the infinitely long response times, the evasive written answers and Hans-Christian Mathiesen's nonsense speak its own clear language. This indicates that something is completely wrong with the Armed Forces' top management. "

Neither Lieutenant Colonel Bjarne Møller, Lieutenant Colonel Anders B. Olesen or Colonel Keld Robert Christensen have wished to be interviewed regarding their respective roles in the recruitment committee in connection with the occupation of the caseworker position in "Army soldiers 2025".

The information in this article is based on several access to documents and a large number of government responses from the Army Staff, the Joint Defense Command and the Ministry of Defence's Personnel Agency in addition to a number of interviews with people with knowledge of the case. All oral sources for this article have been subject to confidentiality and anonymity in order to stand up for fear of reprisals from the Armed Forces and Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen. They have all approved their own quotes before publication.

20181014 FC Cartoon4


Army Chief and Major General Hans-Christian Mathiesen is criticized for apparently helping his cohabiting girlfriend - now spouse - into two coveted educations, hiring her under himself in the Army Staff and appointing her major with a joint extra household income of just DKK 90,000. year as a result. Drawing: Ernstved

 

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Danish frigate has killed four pirates in the Gulf of Guinea​

The frigate Esbern Snarre has been in a firefight with pirates in the Gulf of Guinea. Four pirates are dead and one is wounded.

23935784-syria-denmark-norway-conflict.jpg

The Danish frigate Esbern Snare, which has been sent to the Gulf of Guinea, fired shots at five pirates on Wednesday. No Danes were injured during the firefight. (Stock Photo)
Photo: Marthe Brendefur


Thursday, November 25, 2021, at 09.27


The Danish frigate Esbern Snare, which has been sent to the Gulf of Guinea, fired shots at five pirates on Wednesday.

One of the pirates is wounded while four are dead. This is stated by the Armed Forces in a press release on Thursday.

No Danes were injured during the firefight.

Prior to the firefight, the crew of Esbern Snarre had noticed a ship with eight suspicious men on board. On board the ship could be seen a number of the tools associated with piracy, including ladders.

Subsequently, the Danish soldiers managed to get so close to the pirate ship that it was possible to communicate with the pirates.

"Esbern Snare called the pirates to bring them to a halt so that the Danish soldiers could get on board."

"When the pirates did not react, the Danish forces fired warning shots in accordance with their powers. The pirates then opened fire directly on the Danish soldiers. "

"The Danish soldiers then reacted in self-defense and responded to the fire from the pirates."

“There followed a brief firefight. No Danish soldiers were injured, but five pirates were hit. Four of the pirates died. One was injured, "the press release states.

After the firefight, the pirate ship sank.

The eight pirates were taken aboard the Esbern Snare, where one wounded man was treated for his injuries.

An inter-ministerial working group will now find out what to do with the pirates.

In a written comment, Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen (S) is pleased that nothing has happened to the Danish soldiers.

"Obviously, it is not desirable for human life to be lost."

"But I am glad that no one from the Danish crew has been injured."

"They solve an important task of protecting Danish and other merchant ships in the region," says Bramsen.

The Gulf of Guinea is located southwest of Africa and off Ghana, among other places.

These days, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (S) and Liberal Party chairman Jakob Ellemann-Jensen are visiting the area. Among other things, to visit the Danish frigate contribution in the Gulf of Guinea.

The two politicians were not on board the "Esbern Snare" during Wednesday's firefight.

/ ritzau /

 

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Danish frigate has killed four pirates in the Gulf of Guinea​

The frigate Esbern Snarre has been in a firefight with pirates in the Gulf of Guinea. Four pirates are dead and one is wounded.

23935784-syria-denmark-norway-conflict.jpg

The Danish frigate Esbern Snare, which has been sent to the Gulf of Guinea, fired shots at five pirates on Wednesday. No Danes were injured during the firefight. (Stock Photo)
Photo: Marthe Brendefur


Thursday, November 25, 2021, at 09.27


The Danish frigate Esbern Snare, which has been sent to the Gulf of Guinea, fired shots at five pirates on Wednesday.

One of the pirates is wounded while four are dead. This is stated by the Armed Forces in a press release on Thursday.

No Danes were injured during the firefight.

Prior to the firefight, the crew of Esbern Snarre had noticed a ship with eight suspicious men on board. On board the ship could be seen a number of the tools associated with piracy, including ladders.

Subsequently, the Danish soldiers managed to get so close to the pirate ship that it was possible to communicate with the pirates.

"Esbern Snare called the pirates to bring them to a halt so that the Danish soldiers could get on board."

"When the pirates did not react, the Danish forces fired warning shots in accordance with their powers. The pirates then opened fire directly on the Danish soldiers. "

"The Danish soldiers then reacted in self-defense and responded to the fire from the pirates."

“There followed a brief firefight. No Danish soldiers were injured, but five pirates were hit. Four of the pirates died. One was injured, "the press release states.

After the firefight, the pirate ship sank.

The eight pirates were taken aboard the Esbern Snare, where one wounded man was treated for his injuries.

An inter-ministerial working group will now find out what to do with the pirates.

In a written comment, Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen (S) is pleased that nothing has happened to the Danish soldiers.

"Obviously, it is not desirable for human life to be lost."

"But I am glad that no one from the Danish crew has been injured."

"They solve an important task of protecting Danish and other merchant ships in the region," says Bramsen.

The Gulf of Guinea is located southwest of Africa and off Ghana, among other places.

These days, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (S) and Liberal Party chairman Jakob Ellemann-Jensen are visiting the area. Among other things, to visit the Danish frigate contribution in the Gulf of Guinea.

The two politicians were not on board the "Esbern Snare" during Wednesday's firefight.

/ ritzau /

Gorgeous frigate with two millennium CIWS and 36 cell VLS against pirates:)
 

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Pirates will probably come to Denmark, the lawyer estimates​

Nov 26 2021, 07:55

Convicted pirates have previously been granted asylum in the Netherlands after serving their prison sentences.

Four suspected pirates were remanded in custody in Copenhagen City Court on Thursday.
However, they were not present in court themselves, because they are still trapped on the Danish frigate Esbern Snare in the Gulf of Guinea - more than 5000 kilometers away.
The idea is that you want to bring them to Denmark
Rasmus Sølberg, defense lawyer
It is not yet clear what will happen to the suspected pirates. But the most realistic thing is that at some point they will come to Denmark.

This is what defense lawyer Rasmus Sølberg says, who has dealt with international piracy.
- They are in custody in absentia. Then the intention is probably that you will take them to Denmark to take them to court at some point, he says to TV 2.
https://nyheder.tv2.dk/samfund/2021-11-25-dansk-fregat-draeber-fire-pirater

Danish soldiers kill four

The suspected pirates ended up in a firefight on Wednesday with Esbern Snare's crew south of the coast of Nigeria.
The warship had responded to reports of increased risk of piracy in the area. And out in the afternoon, a motorboat with eight "suspicious men" on board was found.

When the men did not respond to being called to a halt, the Danish forces fired warning shots, the Armed Forces explains.
The pirates then opened fire on the Danish soldiers, who responded to the fire, the explanation goes on.
If they face the death penalty or torture in their home country, they will not be sent home
Rasmus Sølberg, defense lawyer
No Danish soldiers were injured, but five pirates were hit. Four died, one was wounded, and all survivors were placed in dedicated cells aboard the Esbern Snare.

Can be released or prosecuted in Denmark

According to TV 2's correspondent Rasmus Tantholdt, it comes with a number of dilemmas when dealing with pirates collected in international waters.
https://nyheder.tv2.dk/udland/2021-...faengslet-i-13-dage-skoed-mod-danske-soldater
Among other things, the Danish mission off the coast of Africa has already been criticized for not having an agreement on extradition with the countries in the area.

Therefore, Denmark may have to either prosecute the pirates themselves - or release them again in international waters.

- Should one simply give them a small inflatable boat with a packed lunch and some water and drop them off outside the nautical border off the coast of Nigeria? It is a realistic scenario, says Rasmus Tantholdt.

Although the navy has used that approach before, the most realistic scenario, according to defense lawyer Rasmus Sølberg, is that the suspected pirates must be prosecuted in Denmark.

- It is Danish troops that have been attacked. So I would think that one would set an example by having them convicted and trying to get them transferred to their home countries, he says.

Pirates can seek asylum in Denmark

However, a Danish lawsuit against the four prisoners comes with its very own dilemmas.
ALSO SEE
Imprisonment of pirates can be a problem for Denmark

Among other things, the question of what should happen to the suspected pirates once they have served their sentences. Or if they are acquitted.

If their home country does not accept them, or will they be subjected to inhuman treatment there, Denmark may end up hanging on suspected pirates.

- If they face the death penalty or torture in their home country, you do not send them home, Rasmus Sølberg states.

There have been similar examples in the past where convicted Somali pirates were imprisoned in the Netherlands.

After serving their sentences, they ended up getting asylum in the country. And according to Rasmus Sølberg, it is not unrealistic that the same can happen in Denmark.

The thing is, the Somalis would rather be in prison in the Netherlands than go home to Somalia. But can it set a precedent for getting pirates who deliberately attack to come to Denmark? Yes, that is one of the scenarios that can be, he concludes.

 

Saithan

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Peter Viggo Jakobsen: Military value of the Home Guard Reserve is "around zero"​

Of
Kasper Junge Wester
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November 25, 2021

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A Home Guard soldier on exercise. Photo: The Home Guard

Compared to its British and Norwegian counterparts, the Home Guard makes very few demands on both its active volunteers - and even fewer volunteers in the reserve. This may mean that the Home Guard thinks of more than it is, and will not be able to live up to its role in the defense of Denmark and to the expectations that, among others, NATO sets.​

If you are a volunteer in the Home Guard, you do not have to set aside more than 24 hours on an annual basis to maintain your status as an asset. If you are part of the Home Guard's reserve, you do not even have to find time in the calendar. In practice, the latter situation means that around 20,000 Home Guard reservists have not served at all in the last ten years. Nevertheless, they figure as part of the Home Guard's total strength of just over 43,000 men.

The lenient requirements mean that the Home Guard partly sees more than it is, and that the reserve in particular is not very used in the military sense, explains Associate Professor Peter Viggo Jakobsen from the Defense Academy to Frontlinjen on Radio 4.
The article continues below the player…

“The military value is around zero, it goes without saying. If they have to go out and solve some of the more militarily demanding tasks, because the Home Guard lifts a large part of the national defense in what NATO calls host nation support , it obviously does not have the great value, "says Peter Viggo Jakobsen.

The design of the Danish Home Guard is in sharp contrast to the conditions in the British and Norwegian counterparts to the Home Guard, Army Reserve and the Home Guard, respectively. In the UK, the Army Reserve thus requires 27 days of service in one year, including an annual recurring exercise of two weeks' duration. In Norway, too, the case is approached differently than in Denmark. Here, after 12 months of military service, young men and women are automatically transferred to the Home Guard, where they are expected to spend another 7 months of service over the next few years.

"We are in a desperate situation"​

Out of a total of 40,000 men and women in the Home Guard, as many as 37,000 are former conscripts, while the last 3,000 are made up of the Home Guard's so-called task force, for which the stricter activity requirements are set. Although the former conscripts escape more easily, all 37,000 last year performed at least three days of service in the Home Office.

Even though all members of the Norwegian Home Guard are active, one should not look at the Danish interior, says the Liberal Party's acting defense spokesman, Christoffer Melson. Both the Home Guard and its reserve have, despite the somewhat more modest demands, a great value for Denmark, he tells Frontlinjen:
“The value is that we have an overview of a group of people with a military background and an education, which means that they will be able to be retrained relatively quickly or enter and solve tasks in crisis situations. In modern times, when one does not have a mobilization defense, I think it has a value with a group of people who are willing to stand up if needed, and that they have a background that makes that they may be able to carry out various tasks relatively quickly. '

The article continues below the picture…
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Click on the picture if you want to read about First Lieutenant Henrik Schroll, who warns against inflated figures and low demands in the Home Guard…

Associate Professor Peter Viggo Jakobsen agrees with this assessment. The Home Guard and the Armed Forces are screaming for staff, and therefore it does not make sense to tighten the activity requirements and risk losing the goodwill that exists among the volunteers, he believes.

»However, there are some people who know the Home Guard and have previously been active, and who will therefore be willing to stand up and make a voluntary effort for Denmark, if you reach out to them. We are in a desperate situation where we have to use many Home Guard people to lift the national defense in a crisis. There are simply not enough people - there is a desperate shortage in the Home Guard and in the conventional defense, and therefore you have to work with what you have, "says Peter Viggo Jakobsen.

Not a supporter of the Norwegian model​

For the same reason, it is important for politicians to be aware that not everyone who figures in the Home Guard's figures has a useful military education. The Home Guard's tasks must be adapted to the volunteers' respective training levels, and at the same time the politicians at Christiansborg should be made aware that there are currently not enough personnel to handle all the tasks related to national defense, NATO expects Denmark to be able to handle, Peter believes Viggo Jakobsen.

"What is important for me to see is to clearly signal how many people the Home Guard can put up with when it comes to solving military tasks, so that it becomes clear to the political level how many people you really stand and missing. Of course, there must be a notice period of: How many can you submit in 14 days, how many in a month, and how many after six months? "

One possible solution is a Norwegian model in which conscripts automatically join the Home Guard after completing their military service. However, it is more obvious to increase the actual conscription and thus give the Armed Forces a better recruitment basis, notes Peter Viggo Jakobsen:

“I do not see how we should get enough by getting people to enlist in the conventional Armed Forces and make careers and subsequently in the Home Guard if we do not get more through the machine. It is a purely functional argument for conscription, not an ideological argument that it is healthy for young people. "

According to Christoffer Melson, the Liberal Party is open to discussing most things in connection with the negotiations prior to the next defense settlement. However, Christoffer Melson does not even have a scam for a Norwegian model.

"Immediately, I am not quite as much to do as in Norway, where you have to be in the Home Guard. I think we need to see how far we get by becoming better at recruiting for the Home Guard and making conscripts aware of the opportunities that exist for a very, very good education. We must also make sure that the Home Guard has some better equipment in the future, so that it is more attractive to be there, and so that you do not feel that you are a second-class soldier. It might well think with the equipment that is in the Home Guard today. "

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Some readers comment on the above article

One could get the impression when reading the article that this condition in the Home Guard is of more recent date, but that is not the case! The mentioned challenges have existed in all my 42 years as an active member of the Home Guard, to a greater or lesser extent. And it is far from the first time that there has been political attention around the problem, but no one has ever done anything effective to solve the state of affairs - neither in the Home Guard nor politically.

As a volunteer in the Navy Home Guard, I completely agree with the analysis that the reserve is useless. In order to be able to solve the operational tasks we have, hundreds of hours of training are required annually, which is also characteristic of the active Home Guard people. Personally, I think that one should raise the bar and make far more demands than the current ones, as it both makes sense in relation to the individual and the unit's skills, and seems motivating in relation to recruitment that demands are made. Better a poor horse than no horse at all. Especially in light of the expectations our international obligations dictate.

There is no doubt that status as a second-rate soldier needs to be changed 180 degrees. The question is how do we set the course in the right direction.
The significance of the material is obvious. Including particularly advanced equipment; mini-submarines, own tank division, own artillery battery, own squadron, drones and robots. Finally, the competition element should have a prominent place in the defense.
What should we consider to change the current course in low-status countries.

  • Perhaps we should look at the role of cultural institutions in a possible process of change of the current status of the Home Guard? Is the Danish audience ready for a Home Guard soldier as the hero in an action film?
  • Maybe the Armed Forces should send more men to more international missions, - with all the friends. Not just the army.
  • Perhaps we all lack a single overview of the tasks of the individual defenses in a crisis situation. Every year, Finland delivers a great video they call Battlefield (Taistelukenttä). See video link below. A lot of inspiration can be found here.
  • Free goods for all Home Guard people; eg state-paid access to the fitness club in all active home defense years.
  • The annual competition for registered individual and registered entity. Competitions in first aid, shooting, VIP escort, house cleaning, obstacle course, crisis support, use of the escalation ladder in both directions, etc.

I had a colleague who was also member and probably still is member of the Home Guard and as I recall he liked participating in the exercises annually. But I think more needs to be done to streamline the training and participation.

Inspirationally a video from Finland shows/tells the story all should be aware of and prepare for. (with English subs).

 
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