AFGHANISTAN, June 5, 2015 - Since the establishment of the International Security Assistance Force in 2001, the Danish armed forces has contributed forces to the mission in Afghanistan. From deploying combat troops and equipment to Helmand province to transitioning this year to the Resolute Support mission, Denmark's support of the NATO mission has continued.
"The overall purpose of the Danish effort in Afghanistan is to contribute to national, regional and global security by preventing that the country once again becomes a haven for terrorists," according to Denmark's defense ministry website. "At the same time, the Danish effort must also contribute to the establishment of a stable and more developed Afghanistan that can take care of its own security, continue the democratic developments and promote respect for human rights. The goal with (the Resolute Support mission) is to ensure robust security institutions, where the security forces are under civilian control and manages security in accordance with Afghan law and international law."
According to the Danish defense ministry's website, the country has about 160 forces in Afghanistan supporting three lines of operation. One contingent, mainly in the Kabul area, advises and assists Afghan forces. Another contingent, in northern Afghanistan, supports transport helicopter operations. A third contingent, whose location varies, consists of logistical, administrative and technical support to Danish forces.
Brig. Gen. Hans Christain Enevold, the Danish senior national representative in Afghanistan, said, "Denmark keeps our engagement in Afghanistan to help the government towards increased responsibility for the country's security, political and economic development. The key words are sustainability, Afghan ownership and normalization."
One way NATO is assisting its Afghan counterparts is by establishing a base of knowledge in the skills of resource management and procurement, which will help raise and sustain effective Afghan security institutions. This is an area, correlating to business development, that Christian Bedmar knows well. Bedmar is a Danish government civilian who serves as Ministry of Defense Acquisition Agency adviser in the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.
Part of Bedmar's role is working on regional contracts to ensure that supplies and resources get to their intended recipients in a timely manner.
All NATO supplies used in Afghanistan have a national stock number for accountability and are tracked in the national codification system, which Bedmar describes as "the library of items, whereas the logistics systems is the flow or movement of goods."
Improvements to Afghanistan's codification system mean that if a product arrives and the stock number data is incomplete or illegible, it can quickly be deciphered using a database. In turn, that means important supplies-anything from Humvee parts to helmets-are getting where they need to go when they need to get there, achieving both mission readiness and transparency.
Bedmar said his role means more than achieving tactical successes.
"You get here [to Afghanistan] and see how important our work is. They're emphasizing rule of law and fighting corruption," said Bedmar. "It puts things into perspective. They're trying to build a strong democracy with values like in Scandinavia or the United States."
NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan has about 13,000 troops from about 40 countries.
(U.S. Central Command Public Affairs contributed to this report.)