"Having left Djibouti on 25 September the journey has gone according to plan," said Naval base project manager William Nordström who had overall responsibility for the transport. The transport was done on the Eide Transporter, a heavy dock semi-submersible vessel that is effectively a self-propelled floating dock.
Throughout the voyage, engineering personnel from the Naval base ensured ventilation, power supply and other systems on the naval combat vessels continued to operate. Right now, personnel are hard at work offloading a number of storage containers and rectifying any transit damage caused to the combat vessels onboard the Eide Transporter.
The Eide Transporter is due to anchor in Karlskrona archipelago tonight in order to offload the vessels.
"The water is too shallow to do this quayside," said Nordström.
Naval base tugs are due to tow the vessels to the naval harbour. The Naval base has had overall responsibility for engineering maintenance aboard the vessels throughout the mission. Nordström went on to explain:
"I am delighted to say we have received confirmation that the Naval base has been successful in keeping the corvettes fully operational throughout the mission. Which means the ships maintained a high level of availability during the mission."
Food for the people of Somalia
The mission ran from 15 May to 15 September, during which time the Swedish vessels escorted 20,000 tons of food on behalf of the World Food Programme, to the famine hit people of Somalia. Around 10,000 merchant ships passed through the area during the course of this period. 34 merchant ships were subject to pirate attack, of which two attacks succeeded.
The corvettes have proved highly suitable for this type of mission as they are relatively small, fast and highly manoeuvrable. Another advantage was that the three units could fan out over a large area, and with fewer personnel than a normal size destroyer or frigate.
For some time, the Naval base has been readying the previously mothballed long distance warship the HMS Carlskrona for a follow up mission, ME-02. This mission is planned for April-August 2010. In contrast to the vessels deployed in the ME-01 mission, HMS Carlskrona will sail to the mission area under its own steam.