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PM names new Chief of Defence

The prime minister has revealed the name of Denmark’s new chief of defence

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Brigadier General Peter Bartram, currently Assistant Chief of Staff at NATO Allied Command Transformation, has been chosen as Denmark’s new Chief of Defence, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has announced.

“Peter Bartram has had a comprehensive career both at home and abroad. He has a sound knowledge of Danish defence and international operations,” Thorning-Schmidt says.

The choice of Bartram comes following a period of controversy surrounding the method by which the new Danish defence chief was to be chosen.

In a move that broke with tradition, Defence Minister Nick Hækkerup decided to openly advertise the position, rather than the defence minister appointing the chief of defence in a rotational arrangement between the army, navy and air force.

Twenty-one people applied for the position under the open advertisement, which according to Politiken’s information met with opposition from the defence community.

Bartram takes over his post as primary military adviser to Hækkerup, with the defence minister in the process of seeking ways to modernise the defence establishment. Among other issues, Hækkerup has set up a committee to decide whether Denmark’s Defence Command should be axed and the Chief of Defence and his staff moved to the ministry and organisationally placed under the Permanent Secretary.

“We believe (Bartram) is well-prepared to take part in the modernisation of Danish defence and the management of the defence forces, as well as developing our armed forces,” Thorning-Schmidt says.

Bartram, 50, will head up Denmark’s 24,000 defence employees.

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