Dedichen ready for NATO

Vice Admiral Louise K. Dedichen (55) has had a hectic start as Norway’s new NATO military representative.

On Monday 6 January, the Vice Admiral took over as chief of the Norwegian Military Mission in Brussels (MMB). Louise K. Dedichen succeeds Ketil Olsen who retired in December 2019. Based at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, she is the first ever woman to serve in the NATO Military Committee.

On her very first day, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called in for an emergency meeting due to the current security situation between Iran and the USA. The international security situation made Dedichen’s debut day somehow different.

“I’m excited to see what this day brings. I can see that my calendar already has been changed”, Dedichen says. It is just a little after 08:00 in the morning, but Dedichen has already been to two meetings. 


A couple of hours later, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach, officially welcomes her to the committee. Afterwards, Dedichen is invited to hold her own speech. 

“The significance of climate change in the far north is close to my heart. For Norway, the northern region is important. The melting of sea ice opens new maritime routes in the north, and this will change the worldview. We must be aware of that, the Vice Admiral pointed out. 

In her speech, she also spoke about her twelve years as chief of the Norwegian Defence University College. 

“I believe that my experience is different from many of my colleagues. My most challenging job as chief, was implementing a new educational reform within the Norwegian Armed Forces. And I think my experience and competence from that process will come in handy”, she says.

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en_251_dedichenfirstdayatnaen_240_norwegianofficermake/en/newsroom/norwegian-officer-makes-nato-history/media/PubImages/20190712_HAH9088.jpgNorwegian admiral makes NATO historyOne of Norway’s most prominent officers paves the way when she becomes the first woman in NATO’s Military Committee. en_251_dedichenfirstdayatnahttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedPages/DispForm.aspx?ID=139


As chief of the Norwegian Military Mission to Brussels, her main job is to maintain Norway’s interests and represent the Norwegian Chief of Defence in NATO. The fact that she is the first female representative in the committee, is not very important to her. 

“Of course it is important to show younger women that Norway is a frontrunner when it comes to recruiting women. But my main focus is doing a good job”, she says, adding: 

“In today’s security situation, my job is important and demanding. This job demands presence, dialogue with other nations and making contacts. In order to give good advice, I must have the best and full understanding and overview of the situation”, Dedichen says.

 

 

en_251_dedichenfirstdayatnaen_251_dedichenfirstdayatnahttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=666Vice Admiral Louise K. Dedichen. Photo by Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces/media/PubImages/20200106tk_I1274.jpg


Norway is a small nation, but a strategic and geographically significant member for NATO. And the Alliance is also crucial for Norwegian security. 

“That is why Norway needs to take part in the important processes, so that we can influence and secure our national interests”, she says.

This is not the first time Dedichen is in Brussels working for NATO.

“Twenty years ago, I was aides-de-camp for the General who had the same job as I have now. In that regard, you might say that I am back where I started”, she laughs.

Published 14 January 2020 15:43. by Lars Hallingstorp, Armed Forces Media Centre. Last updated 14 January 2020 17:10.

 

 

en_251_dedichenfirstdayatnaen_240_norwegianofficermake/en/newsroom/norwegian-officer-makes-nato-history/media/PubImages/20190712_HAH9088.jpgNorwegian admiral makes NATO historyOne of Norway’s most prominent officers paves the way when she becomes the first woman in NATO’s Military Committee. en_251_dedichenfirstdayatnahttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedPages/DispForm.aspx?ID=139