How did InterForce start?
InterForce was established in 1999 as a direct consequence of The Defense Forces’ increasing engagement in international peace supporting missions.
It quickly became clear that it was necessary to engage the approximately 10.000 Danes who at the time had an availability contract with The Defense Forces next to their civilian jobs.
Therefore, there was a need for an organization in the structure of The Defense Forces which could build bridges between The Defense Forces and the civilian businesses.
The initiative to establish InterForce was taken by the then Chief of Defense, General Christian Hvidt, and former Minister of Finance, Knud Heinesen. Knud Heinesen was also appointed as the first chairman for the national committee of InterForce. The committee is formed by top leaders from several prominent private and public businesses, institutions and organizations.
The committees first goal was to contact the 200 biggest companies in Denmark to spread the word about InterForce. Later the medium-sized businesses were contacted by e-mail or by the growing network of InterForce.
Until 2006 InterForce’s main focus was to inform about The Reserve, and to be the voice of The Reserve towards the civil businesses. Meaning spreading an understanding amongst Danish businesses, that members of The Reserve should be able to take days off from their jobs to receive education with The Defense Forces or solve tasks for Denmark’s security.
In 2006 the volunteers of The National Guard were added to InterForce’s portfolio. In 2012 the approximately 200 volunteers in The Coast Guard followed, and in 2022 the volunteers in The Emergency Management Service became part of InterForce as well.
As a collective designation The Reserve and the volunteers in The National Guard, The Emergency Management Service and The Coast Guard are called The Reserve Forces.
Therefore, today it is InterForce’s task to inform and be the voice of The Reserve Forces towards the civilian businesses.
Regions and Greenland
Since it was established in 1999, InterForce has gone through a regional expansion.
Other than the national committee, the organization today consists of six regional business councils located in Northern Jutland, Central Jutland, Southern Jutland, Zealand, The Capital area and Bornholm.
In august 2020, the then Minister of Defense, Trine Bramsen, and the Chief of Defense, General Bjørn Bisserup, expanded the organization to include InterForce Greenland. InterForce Greenland was formed in the same way as the regions. And it was specifically established to support the forming of a voluntary force in Greenland, as it was decided in the defense agreement for the period 2018-2023, as well as to expand the relations between The Defense Forces and the Greenlandic businesses.
Today InterForce is supported by a bit more than 2.300 Danish businesses who count around 1 million employees altogether.