30 September 2014

Into the Arms of Denmark

Camp Bastion, 23 July 2014, Dannebrog is lowered. Denmark’s military engagement in the Afghan Helmand Province is over. 1 August 2014, the last Danish soldier departs from Helmand. He belongs to Team 17 of the Danish Contingent (DANCON) in NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Sixteen teams of deployed Danish troops have preceded him over the last eight years. Thomas Randrup Pedersen has followed one of the teams, namely, Team 16 – deployed from August 2013 to February 2014. More specifically, Thomas has periodically done field research inside two combat units on Team 16: The Tank Platoon ‘Loki’ and the Force Protection Section ‘Fenris’. Conducting an ethnographic fieldwork of coming and going, Thomas has, in the course of a year, followed Loki and Fenris before, during, and after deployment. Also, Thomas has interviewed personnel from Fenris’ sister section on Team 16, the Police Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (POMLT). Furthermore, Thomas has done field studies of a mechanized infantry platoon that trained for deployment with Team 16, until the platoon, along with the rest of its battle company, was ordered on standby as emergency force, as its presence was no longer required in the Afghan theatre of war. In addition, Thomas has followed recruits from the Army’s Basic Training into the Army’s Reaction Force. Last but not least, in order for Thomas to be embedded in the Army in Afghanistan, Thomas has been enrolled in the Army’s Preparatory Course for Individually Deployed Personnel.

Click here to learn more about Thomas’ research.

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Into the Arms of Denmark. Foto: Thomas Randrup ©

Force protection MRAP Cougars en-route, DACON ISAF 16, Helmand. Foto: Thomas Randrup ©