Anti-submarine and anti-pirate operations at the same time

Anyone who has been in the Stockholm archipelago during the last few days will almost certainly have noticed one or two military vessels and combat ships moving in the area. For more than two weeks there has been an anti-submarine exercise involving groups from the navy's various units.

Retrieving sea mines can be arduous work, but on this day the weather was favourable. Photo: Swedish Armed Forces
The sensor platoon had laid a sea mine, which was retrieved after the exercise was completed. There are a number of sensors used for mining work, which personnel use to gain information. Photo: Swedish Armed Forces
The mine system includes many cables that must be wound in, and this job is easiest from a group boat. Photo: Swedish Armed Forces
"For us, this has been a very rewarding, useful exercise", said Christoffer Blohm, chief of platoon. Photo: Kristina Swaan/Swedish Armed Forces
Corrective maintenance was carried out during exercise; boat parts are being fixed here. Photo: Swedish Armed Forces
"With our flexibility, we can carry out anti-submarine training here in Sweden at the same time as participating in operations in the Gulf of Aden," said Stefan Hoffsten, chief engineer in the Company. Photo: Kristina Swaan/Swedish Armed Forces
The combat boat was at full speed when the depth charges were released. Photo: Swedish Armed Forces
Depth charges can be used against a possible intruder below the surface. Photo: Swedish Armed Forces

The goal was to practise skills used in anti-submarine operations, i.e. surveillance, location and attacking a submarine. The surveillance platoon and the sensor platoon participated from the Amphibious Regiment.
"The platoons were part of a combined group consisting of corvettes, mine-sweepers and our own surveillance ships. The exercise included everything from navigation exercises to dropping depth charges and pure anti-submarine operations. It was a very useful exercise, both for individual operators and for the whole crews," said Philip Allgurén, chief of the surveillance ship platoon.

Logistics create endurance

At the same time as the anti-submarine exercise was being carried out, personnel from the surveillance ship company were in the Gulf of Aden. This meant that logistics operations were not practised to the same extent as they would otherwise have been.

"To keep up the momentum in a submarine hunt, it is not only good operators that are needed but also well-functioning logistics. The units need everything from diesel, consumables and food to keep going. Even though logistics operations were cut down during this exercise, it went well and we received support in other ways and by other units. The objective was to provide personnel with one cooked meal per day, which we achieved. We were also able to make repairs in the field, re-fuel ships at sea and many other things. The fact that we are so flexible makes it possible to carry out anti-submarine training here in Sweden at the same time as participating in pirate operations together with personnel from the 2nd Amphibious Battalion in the Gulf of Aden," said Stefan Hoffsten, chief engineer in the Company.

Live mines and depth charges

The sensor platoon carried out fixed and mobile reconnaissance with its sensors and played an important role in the anti-submarine exercise.
"The sensor platoon was also part of the temporary array of units and carried out live mine-laying and depth charges, mainly from our combat boats. The development of the platoon's abilities during the exercise was enormous, and it was very much appreciated, being able to participate in this type of qualified and complex exercise along with the rest of the navy," said Christoffer Blohm, chief of the sensor platoon.

This exercise has now been completed and both the surveillance boat platoon and the sensor platoon have returned to their base in Gothenburg.