Danish soldiers ‘losing motivation’ over border, anti-terror tasks

Danish soldiers who have been assigned to help the police with border control and guarding potential terror targets have said they are losing motivation for the work.

Danish soldiers 'losing motivation' over border, anti-terror tasks
Photo: Thomas Borberg/PolfotoRitzau

In an open letter sent to Chief of Defence Bjørn Bisserup, 300 soldiers signed the statement expressing their concern over the issue, reports DR.

Three requests are made by the signatories of the letter – higher pay, better compensation for families in case of death in service, and killed soldiers’ names to be added to a memorial at Copenhagen’s Kastellet fortress.

“We feel badly treated. We think we are preforming tasks in Copenhagen and at the border that are very similar to the tasks we have abroad,” union representative Lance Corporal Michael Høy Nedergaard told DR Nyheder.

The government earlier this year announced that a significant amount of police work in both areas would be taken over by soldiers, releasing police officers for work in their own districts.

That arrangement is now several months old, resulting in discontent amongst soldiers, who believe that tasks such as guarding the synagogue in Copenhagen is comparable to a ‘live’ mission carried out abroad.

Soldiers on missions abroad receive higher pay than is currently given for the two domestic tasks.

“In Denmark we have been deployed due to a terror threat. So we think we should be remunerated on that basis,” Lance Corporal Nedergaard said.

Soldiers also point to the fact that their seven-day shift patterns with varying schedules should entitle them to higher wages.

“I have heard colleagues say that that if this continues… they will seriously consider finding something else to do,” Nedergaard said.

Chief of Defence Bisserup told DR that he was yet to receive the letter and would therefore not yet comment.

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