Ali Hussein has made a career for himself in the Danish Defence.
- Age: 32.
- Educated at DTU, Campus Ballerup, as an electronic engineer in 2006.
- He had postponed his conscription examination until after he had completed his studies, but as he was not drafted, he volunteered for the forces awaiting dispatch to war zones.
- Ali changed direction in 2008 to be employed as a civil engineer in the Danish Defence’s Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (FMI). Since then, he has worked with weapon systems for the Danish frigate programme.
- He came to Denmark from Iraq with his parents as refugees in 1989. He moved from Løgstør to Valby in 1991. Today he lives with his wife and two children in Glostrup. In 2009, he was a Danish boxing champion in light welterweight (64 kg).
Once Ali received his diploma, that stated that he was an electronic engineer, he was very much in need of a change of scenery from books and homework. Although his family had come to Denmark as refugees to avoid the war and bombings in Iraq, he wanted to do the military service he had postponed during his studies. However, he then avoided military service by lottery, but decided to volunteer with the Special Forces. Due to restructuring, the dispatch of his team was postponed for 6-8 months, which made Ali change tracks to the civilian section of the Defence.
“I get the chance to work on some exciting projects that no one else has access to,” he says, referring to his work on installing launch racks for the Launcer MK41 missiles on the three Danish naval frigates. The missiles have been tested at drills off the coast of northern Norway, where drones have been shot down, but otherwise, the frigates are stationed in Korsør. During the installation phase, Ali worked on calculations which allowed the different weapon systems to communicate. Ali also had to coordinate purveyors such as the American military or the Danish factory Therma. Today, the frigates are operating, so Ali is working on correcting errors, improvements and finding solutions for updating technical installations: “This could be a defective printed circuit board which is no longer in production,” he explains. “Then it is my job to find a new solution.”
Some of Ali’s work is classified, but he lets on that he gets his hands on a lot of new technology.
“I realize that there is no competition salary wise between the Defence and the private engineering field. But it is a family friendly place to work,” says Ali, who is the father of two small children. All overtime work is deposited in a so-called care-account and multiplied by 1.5 – this means, that 10 overtime hours become 15 hours’ worth of lieu days. “We have child’s first sick days and two extra care-days per year. So I am happy with my choice.” The pension is good, too, and there is security as well. This all makes Ali feel that his working conditions are ideal for him and his family.