Danish transport helicopters to Afghanistan
Air Force heading back a year after the combat mission officially ended
Although the final Danish combat troops left Afghanistan last year, the Air Force is now increasing its effort in the war-torn country by sending off three EH-101 medium-lift transport helicopters, DR reports.
On August 1, some 76 Danish soldiers will travel to northern Afghanistan to assist the German mission to advise and train the Afghan police force. More may be joining them, Lieutenant-Colonel Jan Dam told DR.
"The primary task of the German forces is to advise and monitor the police headquarters and the military units in northern Afghanistan. We are going to support that work," he said.
"We will send 76 men in the first round."
Since the army had the first EH-101 helicopters delivered in 2006, they have only been used in training missions and for rescue missions at home. They have faced by a lot of technical issues, partially because the army decided to use other solutions that the manufacturer had not recommended.
However, the defence minister, Nicolai Wammen, assured parliament's Defence Committee this week that the transport helicopters are ready for the mission.
Providing the helicopters with machine guns and a defence system against enemy projectiles and missiles has cost approximately 250 million kroner. The three helicopters will be partially disassembled and transported to Afghanistan aboard C-17 air freighters in July.