Denmark formally joins STRIKFORNATO
During an official flag unveiling ceremony on January 28, 2020, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) welcomed the full integration of Denmark into SACEUR's premiere operational maritime Force Structure Headquarters. Denmark officially joined on January 1, 2020 as the Thirteenth member of this key European command.
Leading the ceremony, STRIKFORNATO's Deputy Commander, Rear Admiral Guy Robinson, alongside His Excellency Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the Danish Ambassador to Portugal, and the Danish Navy representative, Captain Claus Andersen, Deputy Chief of Staff Capabilities, Navy Command, recognized additional Danish military representation with Brigadier General Karsten Fledelius Jensen, Commander of the Danish National Air Operations Centre and Commander Henrik Thrue, Royal Danish Navy STRIKFORNATO J3 IAMD.
As STRIKFORNATO's first new member since 2017, Rear Admiral Robinson highlighted the importance of gaining contributing nations and the expansion of the maritime mission for NATO, stating; "I am delighted to be able to welcome Denmark into the STRIKFORNATO family on behalf of our Commander, Vice Admiral Lisa Franchetti. We will benefit hugely from the expertise and experience that Denmark will bring to the team and we look forward to welcoming more members into STRIKFORNATO in the future."
Echoing these comments, Captain Andersen stressed that Denmark's ambition to formally become a member since posting Commander Thrue with STRIKFORNATO's Ballistic Missile Defense Team in 2017 was being realized. "The relevance and uniqueness of STRIKFORNATO and its missions has become more and more evident, especially when it comes to gaining knowledge and ensuring interoperability with our closest Allies."
STRIKFORNATO was established in 1953 and is in addition to Denmark composed by twelve other member nations: France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Other nations such as Canada, Latvia, and Lithuania have also provided staff officers during this period. STRIKFORNATO will continue to formalize relations and expand personnel and capabilities as the NATO mission expands in, and around, Europe.