With heightened tensions in the Baltic Sea region, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Swedish and Finnish applications for NATO membership, Denmark has increased its military presence in the south Baltic Sea. New air defense resources have been stationed on Borholm, the Danish island located between Sweden and Poland. More resources may be on their way.
According to Danmarks Radio (DR), the Danish public broadcasting corporation, two of the nation’s F-16 fighter jets
have been deployed … to Bornholm primarily daytime for more rapid responses to Russian aircraft in Danish airspace.
However, the Bornholm local political leadership is not satisfied. They demand full time presence, with around-the-clock response capability. The DR quotes mayor Jacob Trøst:
We here on Bornholm are suddenly the part of Denmark that is closest to the threat from the East. This is a good reason why the military should reinforce its presence on Bornholm.
A concurring view comes from René Danielsson, a Bornholm representative for the Dansk Folkeparti, a center-right nationalist party:
For years I have argued that Bornholm should have a fitting military presence. And it can start with F-16 aircraft. However, I also believe that we must upgrade the rest of the defense capabilities on Bornholm.
In May, Danish and American military held a joint exercise centered around Bornholm. According to the Danish Defense Forces, the exercise was specifically focused on rapid deployment of the HIMARS weapons system, a rocket-launching artillery system. This was the second time the HIMARS was deployed during exercises in the Baltic Sea; it first appeared on the Swedish island of Gotland in October 2021, during a joint Swedish-American military exercise.
With Sweden and Finland aspiring to become members of NATO, the U.S.-led military alliance is expected to continue to increase its military capabilities in the Baltic Sea region.