Military of Greenland

The government of Greenland does not have control of Greenland's military or foreign affairs. The defence of Greenland is the responsibility of the Kingdom of Denmark. However, following the November 2008 referendum on increased autonomy, which attracted significant popular support (72% turnout, 75% vote in favor), the governments of Greenland and Denmark have agreed to a 30-point package that will begin to give Greenland greater powers over defence and foreign affairs.

Native military

Greenland has no regular military, the Royal Danish Navy Maintains several bases, under the Joint Arctic Command, and conducts coast guard as well as search and rescue operations.

Domestic Military Statistics[1]

  • Military Branches: no regular military forces
  • Manpower available for military service: males age 16–49: 15,280 (2010 est.)
  • Manpower fit for military service: males age 16–49: 10,765 females age 16–49: 11,399 (2010 est.)
  • Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 488 female: 478 (2010 est.)
  • Military – note: defence is the responsibility of Denmark

Changes from June 2009

The post-referendum governmental changes became effective in June 2009. Those that affect military provision include:

  • Greenland's government will be given significant autonomy in determining foreign affairs.
  • Many aspects of foreign affairs policy will no longer be linked to Danish policy.
  • Control of the militarised Greenlandic Coast Guard will be transferred to the Government of Greenland.
  • The Greenlandic government will take control of policing, including the police motor launches currently trained to assist military in the Island Command Greenland.

Overseas military

Several American and Danish military bases are located in Greenland, including the US Thule Air Base.

The Royal Danish Navy operate a dog sled patrol called Sirius-patruljen, based in Daneborg.

See also


  1. "North America :: Greenland ." CIA - The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency, 18 Jul 2011. Web. 18 Jul 2011. <>.
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