Corvette force being prepared for EU duty

The Government is expected soon to endorse Sweden’s participation in Operation Atalanta which is being launched by the EU on the basis of a UN mandate to protect the UN’s food aid consignments being shipped to Somalia. The Swedish Navy will contribute its International Corvette Force consisting of the corvettes Stockholm and Malmö together with the support vessel Trossö and their crews numbering 150.

HMS Stockholm. Photo: Patrik Östlund/Försvarsmakten

The Swedish contribution will be for a period of four months and the force is expected to be in place at the earliest by April next year. The cost of the operation is estimated to be about SEK 200 million. The corvettes will complement the larger warships taking part.

“Operation Atalanta means that the Swedish Navy, for the third time since 2007, will be deploying standby units on international service. Last year a corvette was on duty with UNIFIL off the coast of Lebanon and our international amphibious force has just now completed its operations in Chad,” says the Naval Inspector, Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad.

Look at the personnel situation

This means that the Swedish Armed Forces have a good many matters to attend to. Among other things it will be necessary to look at the situation regarding the materiel and personnel that the force will require.

“We also have to look at the training which needs to be carried out,” says Magnus Jönsson, Commanding Officer of the International Corvette Force.

British officers

The operation will be under British command and is intended to provide protection for the World Food Program’s shipments of food aid to the suffering population in Somalia. The western world also has a strong self-interest in ensuring the continued functioning of the trade flows in the region.

Around 15 EU countries will be making similar contributions and the first vessels are due to be on station in the area by the beginning of December.

Seamen are being recruited

The Swedish Armed Forces are now recruiting seamen for service afloat. In the first instance these recruits will serve on board the corvettes Stockholm and Malmö but also on the corvette Visby. Standby crew members for the support vessel HMS Trossö are also being recruited.