Denmark’s military wants to recruit gamers

The Danish armed forces is looking to gamers to bolster its ranks of pilots, flight commanders and radar operators.

Denmark’s military wants to recruit gamers
File photo showing Danish F16 fighter aircraft in Kuwait. Photo: Ritzau Scanpix

The move is being considered after Danish Defence (Forsvaret), the country's armed forces, found that gamers have a good capacity for learning, strategic sense and ability to visualise, all of which could be put to good use in the air force, broadcaster DR reports.

“Gamers have certain skills in being and remaining calm under pressure, faster reactions than other young people, quick decision making, good teamwork skills, orientation and strong ability to visualise,” Major Anders Bech, head of section with the Danish Ministry of Defence’s Personnel Agency, said to Ritzau.

“These are all abilities which we could use,” Bech added.

The military’s assessment that gamers have potential as future air force personnel comes after several trials, which have included the involvement of Danish e-sports team Astralis.

Positive impressions gained through trials have also been echoed in real-life recruitment, the personnel agency leader said.

“2017 was the first time we specifically looked at gamers, by being visible on the platforms frequented by them. And we got twice as many applications as we usually do,” Bech said.

“As such, we were easily able to find enough qualified applicants for our flight leader programme, which is one of the more difficult programmes. We normally go through 20 or 40 applications before finding one that is suitable,” he explained.

Danish Defence is now set to establish a partnership with E-sport Danmark, the federation for electronic sport in the country, in an effort to increase the number of applicants who may have honed their skills through gaming.

“It’s hard to say how much of a gamer you should be. That will be put to the test when applying with us. If you send an application, you will be invited to a test,” Bech said.

“But we are still interested in finding out whether (gamers) can work out as soldiers. They have some core skills which we are interested in, but there are also other requirements in regard to being able to function as a soldier. We can’t say anything for certain about that yet,” he added.

Denmark’s military holds ongoing tests on a year-round basis for applicants to most of its educational programmes.

READ ALSO: Number of Danes unsuitable for military service a concern: soldiers' union

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Denmark decries airspace violations by Russian planes

Denmark's government on Friday decried two Russian aircraft violating Danish airspace and summoned   Moscow's ambassador over the incident.

Denmark decries airspace violations by Russian planes
Russian MiG fighter jets. NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP

The defence ministry in one NATO’s founding members said fighter jets had been scrambled to counter the incursion on Friday,  Ritzau news agency reported.

“Completely unacceptable that Russian planes violate Danish airspace, even twice in one day,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a post to Twitter.

Kofod added that the repeat violation made it look like a “deliberate action”.

“We are still examining the details, but I have already taken the initiative to summon the Russian ambassador for a talk at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs,” the foreign minister said.

The violations had occurred over the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, south of Sweden.

“It is very rare that we see this type of violation of Danish airspace, so two in the same day must be deemed to be serious,” Defence Minister Trine Bramsen told Ritzau.

According to the agency, Russia has repeatedly flown over Danish airspace and in August 2020, a Russian B52 bomber also flew over Bornholm.