Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark visited Danish troops in Mali this week. The Danish troops are part of the 15,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali. He was accompanied by the Danish Defence Minister Peter Christensen for the two-day trip to Mali. While there he met with Major General Michael Lollesgaard of Denmark, who has been leading the mission in Mali since March 2015. He also met with Danish personnel on the ground working in the intelligence unit in Bamako. Crown Prince Frederik was informed about the tasks that the mission performs in the area, as well as the increased threats from Islamist terrorist groups.
He also went to Gao where he met with the Danish Special Forces and police working in the region. The mission in Mali is officially called “the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali” and intents to achieve stability in the West African nation and to protect the civilians from insurgents.
Crown Prince Frederik has completed several military studies and training in all three services, including as a sailor in the naval elite special operations forces. The naval elite special operations forces are known as frogmen and is similar to the US Seals. In 2001 en 2002 Crown Prince Frederik completed training for leaders at the Royal Danish Defence College and he remains active in the Defence. He also served as a staff officer at the Defence Command Denmark and from 2003 he was a senior lecturer with the Institute of Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College.
In addition to his military service he is also an avid sportsman. He has run several marathons and he was the first royal to complete an Ironman. He is a patron of several sports organisations, such as The Danish Military Sports Association and he is also a member of the International Olympic Committee.