Denmark’s Contribution to 60 Years of NATO Air Policing

…If the Danish government declared reinforced alert, the Command Tactical Air Force Denmark would come under operational control of the Commander of NATO’s Northern Region….

When NATO nations decided to integrate their air defence forces in 1961, most nations transferred their quick reaction alert aircraft to NATO command and control in peacetime….


Over the years, Denmark continuously updated their air surveillance system and introduced improved fighter aircraft like the Hawker Hunter, F-86 Sabre, F-104 Starfighter and finally the F-16, which has been the sole guardian of the Danish part of NATO airspace since 1986.


During the Cold War, Denmark was in a special situation with the Danish island of Bornholm situated in the Baltic Sea, 120 nautical miles east of the Iron Curtain and only 40 miles from the nearest Warsaw Pact territory. That geography accounts for a number of supersonic air policing missions flown over the years.

Right now, Danish F-16s are back at Siauliai [Lithuania], providing air policing over the Baltic States for the seventh time, and next year Denmark will take over the Iceland Peacetime Preparedness Needs mission for the fifth time.