Swedish Ocean Patrol Vessel (OPV) HSwMS Carlskrona joined the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia – Operation Atalanta on 6 April 2013, in Djibouti.
HMS Carlskrona is a 106 meter long OPV with a crew of 139, including the boarding team and helicopter crew. She is a former flagship of EU NAVFOR (2010) and has re-joined the EU’s counter-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia.
Speaking about the preparations for joining the Operation, the Commanding Officer of HSwMS Carlskrona, Commander Mathias Jansson, said:
“We started training back in January in Sweden with the different parts of the ship coming together, including the helicopter wing and the Swedish Marines boarding team. We then started the journey to the Area of Operations, conducting further training on the way. We then received our helicopter when we arrived in the Gulf of Aden, followed by additional training this week for 2 days with the helicopter. We are now prepared for the next step, which is beginning Operation Atalanta for the next four months. Piracy has declined, which is good, but the weather associated with the intra-monsoon period will, I am sure, give new opportunity for the pirates. Both me and the crew are prepared and we are very pleased to start the mission.”
HSwMS Carlskrona also contributes an extensive medical facility with both an operating theatre and intensive care unit.
In support of the Carlskrona in the operation 12 military personnel are based ashore in Djibouti, bringing the total Swedish contribution to Operation Atalanta, in the Horn of Africa, to 152 personnel. 24 of those personnel (16%) are women.
Naval Today Staff, April 8, 2013; Image: EU Navfor