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Another Dane! This time at the head of CTF-151

(Credit: US Ve Fleet / Lieutenant Gary H Turner Royal Navy)

(BRUSSELS2) CTF 151, the maritime coalition against piracy supported by the Americans, will be commanded by a Dane. Eh yes ! Danes are everywhere these days :-). Commodore Aage Buur Jensen thus took over, on January 12, from Rear Admiral Kaleem Shaukat of the Pakistani Navy.

On board a US ship

Commodore Jensen will not, however, have a national ship to command him; he will be based aboard the American ship USS Halsey which assumes the role of flagship. When he took office, he made no secret of his determination to act against piracy “100%”. “ My intention is to deter and disrupt pirate attack groups at the earliest possible opportunity and a (more) flexible approach to command and coordination »

Delicate relations between US and Pakistani marines

This succession comes as relations between the American and Pakistani governments have entered a delicate phase. American Vice Admiral Mark Fox, commander of the US Fifth Fleet, is therefore careful to welcome “the remarkable level of commitment of the Pakistani navy”. While the Pakistani rear admiral emphasized “ the(Pakistan's) commitment to the safety and security of the high seas and the promise to honor our international commitments, despite all obstacles”. Relations within the Gulf region are essential, he said, in the fight against piracy. " In addition to the naval campaign at sea, we have remained engaged with regional countries on land to encourage their participation and contribution to the campaign against piracy, as well as strengthening their capacity to deal with piracy.”

A route provided

Aged 56 (born 1955), Aage Buur Jensen joined the navy at the age of 20. After the naval academy, he was incorporated into the submarine unit until 1988. In 1989, he attended the British school of Manadon (Royal Naval Engineering College) and became commander of the special forces in 1990. In 1995, he became advisor to the Minister of Defense, Hans Hækkerup (Social Democrat) in the government of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (not to be confused with the current Secretary General of NATO). In 1997, he joined NATO in the Joint Plans & Policy Division at Alliance HQ in Stavanger, Norway. Commander of the Trion, an ocean patrol vessel (between 2000 and 2001), he returned to his first classes as commander of the submarine squadron. In 2004, he moved to General Staff: first as deputy head of “Operations and Resources” at the Navy, then to Defense HQ as head of Operations then Concept and Development. He is now commander of the Danish Task Group.

 The Danes…everywhere

The Kingdom of Denmark is indeed on all fronts these months. He holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union. It is the former Danish Prime Minister (AF Rasmussen) who is at the head of NATO. A Danish diplomat leads the “legal issues” working group of the international contact group on piracy. And it was a Dane who was appointed head of the NATO military committee. In addition to the CTF-151, the Danish navy is very active in the anti-piracy operation with the Absalon which often provides an offensive presence. Not bad for a “small” country of 5 million inhabitants! Without forgetting the military commitment in Afghanistan, 750 soldiers are serving there in the disputed province of Helmand alongside the Americans and British. And they have always been at the forefront, taking significant risks. In ten years of engagement, the Danes lost 42 of their men. Which is the highest “score” of losses of the coalition (more than the Spanish or Poles).

Read also: A Dane will chair NATO's military committee from 2012

(Maj) With the chairmanship of the Danish Military Committee

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).