Danish soldiers say keeping close links with British allies is ‘vital’

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DANISH soldiers have praised the skills of reserve troops from Portsmouth and declared: ‘Britain will always be a close ally – we’re brothers in arms’.

The Danes welcomed 120 soldiers from 4th Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (4 PWRR) during the unit's first overseas deployment this month.

As well as showing them some of their culture, the Danish Army also shared its own warfighting skills with the men and women of 4 PWRR –  which is Hampshire’s local infantry reserve unit.

The Danes already have a special link with the regiment, having fought alongside troops from 1 PWRR in Afghanistan.

And Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II is also the regiment’s colonel-in-chief.

But this latest visit by 4 PWRR had really helped to solidify the link between Britain and it’s European ally.

Staff Sergeant Thomas Knudsn, is a heavy mortar platoon commander in the Danish Army, and was showing off the 120mm mortar to the reservists – a calibre not used by the British Army.

Speaking to The News, he said: ‘I have absolutely loved having 4 PWRR here. I have worked with the Brits in Afghanistan and have the highest regards for them. 

‘We are allies, we are brothers in arms – that will never change.’

The declaration comes amid concern over Britain’s future role in Europe after Brexit. 

Critics have said that the UK could be at risk of becoming more insular and withdrawing from historic alliances, something the government has stressed it would never do.

Captain Andy Keen is the mortar platoon commander with 4 PWRR which is made up of 12 soldiers. He said links with international partners was key in helping to train Britain’s future soldiers.

‘This has been hugely beneficial for our soldiers,’ he said, ‘So it’s essential we maintain these strong links.

‘We have very similar procedures and equipment so it makes absolute sense that we have a strong understanding of each other and how we work so that on operations we can work together.’

 As well as seeing the Danish mortar crews in operations, troops also had the opportunity to fire weapons used by the Danes on a rifle range.

Members of 4 PWRR also spent time in Denmark’s capital Copenhagen, where they visited soldiers from the Danish ‘Lifeguards’.