A Danish staff of 12 people took over the command yesterday. Denmark will be in charge of the operation until mid-July. The operation includes, in addition to the Danish staff, staff members, ships and aircraft from eight European countries.
Maritime surface and air assets have been provided by the navies of France, the Netherlands and Denmark. Based in Abu Dhabi, the FHQ is staffed by 20-25 personnel coming from Belgium, Greek, the Netherlands, Denmark and France.
“The right to free navigation is a crucial value. When it is put under pressure, we, as a great maritime nation, must fight for it. The Danish management of Operation AGENOR helps to support Danish maritime industries and at the same time emphasizes the trust that exists in the Danish defense,” said the country’s Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen.
AGENOR was launched in late 2019, when several commercial ships were attacked around the Strait of Hormuz. Other incidents created insecurity for sea shipping and exacerbated the already tense situation in the region. The purpose of AGENOR is then to reduce the emergence of such incidents. In addition to the Strait of Hormuz, the operation perimeter includes the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
“Denmark is the world’s fifth largest shipping nation. Therefore, it is also a core task for the Navy to help ensure the free movement of shipping, and we have both the skills and experience to lead international naval forces”Admiral Carsten Fjord-Larsen, the first Danish commander of the operation
Ships and aircraft in AGENOR work for safety and free movement of shipping by showing presence and by creating a picture of the normal situation in the area. It makes it possible to sharpen the attention, and possibly. intervene if the situation changes. The ships in the naval force can also accompany merchant ships through the Strait of Hormuz in order to contribute to increased security.
“The situation is calm and it seems that the various actors, including Iran and the other coastal states, are acting professionally. But it is a complex area where perhaps small incidents can explode, and therefore the approach from AGENOR is that we must be de-escalating and not contribute to the situation developing. Our overview and presence has a deterrent effect on any actors who may wish to place obstacles in the way of free movement of shipping.
“We come up with a Danish footprint on a wide range of the activities that are needed to run the operation and to put the mission into practice. But we are of course supported by the other European nations in AGENOR and EMASOH (the political framework around AGENOR, ed.),” added Admiral Carsten Fjord-Larsen.
From August to December 2020, Denmark contributed to AGENOR with the frigate Iver Huitfeldt, its crew, a Seahawk helicopter and soldiers from the Military Police and Naval Special Forces. Denmark has also contributed staff officers to the operation since its establishment in January 2020.
Admiral Carsten Fjord Larsen and his staff will lead AGENOR until April. Then, another Danish team will take over the management task until July.