Philippine Sea

Showing posts with label Sweden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sweden. Show all posts

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Somali Pirates: Swedish helicopters called home

Perhaps an indication of low priority in stopping Somali pirates or something else, but the Swedes are talking about bringing home their two helicopters from the Somalia area as reported here:
The helicopters are currently based on HMS Carlskrona, which is the headquarters ship for the EU’s anti-piracy forces in the region. The helicopters increase the range of the Swedish forces by 70 percent.

They are being brought back to Sweden to participate in the Nordic Battlegroup, an EU naval force composed of Nordic countries and Ireland. The force will be on standby from 1st January 2011, but could be sent anywhere in the world at short notice after that.

Military chiefs say the decision to remove the helicopters from Somalia is due to a lack of resources, but Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors has now questioned that decision...
More on the Nordic Battlegroup here.

According to this, the helicopters in question are Agusta A 109M (Swedish "Hkp-15").

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Somali Pirates: More EU/Swedish/Dutch Anti-Pirate Action

Reported by MSC(HOA) here:

EU NAVFOR Dutch warship Tromp disrupts more Pirate Action Groups

30/03/2010 16.09 UTC

Continuing success by EU NAVFOR over the last 24 hours by Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and EU NAVFOR HNLMS Tromp, has led to the detention of 10 suspected pirates and the destruction of a Pirate Action Groups (PAG).

On 28th Mar, the EU NAVFOR Swedish Maritime Patrol aircraft (MPA) located a PAG almost 700 miles east of Mogadishu and informed the Force Commander onboard the Italian warship ETNA. The Force Commander, Admiral Giovanni Gumiero tasked TROMP with intercepting the PAG. EU NAVFOR warship TROMP launched her helicopter and forced the suspected pirates to stop their skiffs. A boarding operation was conducted and 10 suspected pirates were detained. A large number of fuel barrels were found and destroyed. Two attack skiffs were also destroyed and the suspects were provided with sufficient fuel and water to reach the coast in a third boat.

During this period of highly successful disruption operations, EU NAVFOR French, Spanish, German and Dutch warships and Maritime patrol Aircraft from Sweden and Luxembourg have interdicted some 17 Pirate Groups, accounting for more than 131 suspected pirates with HNLMS Tromp alone accounting for the apprehension of 61 suspected pirates.
More on the Swedish MPA here. Earlier post on the "pirate cleansing" Tromp here.

Also set out in an update here, the EU was involved with the Seychelles Coast Guard success against pirates by providing a Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

UPDATE2: Some might be confused with the mention of Luxembourg providing MPA - they are apparently using modified, leased CAE Aviation Swearingen Merlin III aircraft based in the Seychelles. These aircraft appear to be equipped with the WESCAM™ MX-20 Sensor System

Monday, March 15, 2010

Somali Pirates: New EU Command Ship Heads for Waters Off Somalia

EU Forces off Somalia will be seeing a new flag ship as Sweden sends HMS Carlskrona a departure reported in a EU press release New Force Headquarter (FHQ) Sails For Somalia Anti Piracy Mission:
HMS CARLSKRONA will proceed to the Gulf of Aden, where RAdm (LH) Thörnqvist is to relieve the present Force Commander Rear Admiral Giovanni Gumiero onboard the EU NAVFOR Italian warship ITS ETNA who has been controlling operations in the area for the last four months. The ships will meet in the Gulf of Aden in the middle of April and formally hand over command of the EU NAVFOR Task Force.

Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the ‘World Food Program’ (WFP) and vessels of AMISOM, and to protect vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
More on Carlskrona here.

Top Photo caption: "HMSwS Carlskrona escorted by HMSwS Stockholm (Photo Peter Nilsson Kockums) "
Lower Photo caption: "HMSwS Carlskrona on her way (Photo Peter Nilsson Kockums)"

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Somali Pirates: Flying Swedes Join the Fun

A Swedish Coast Guard maritime patrol aircraft is starting to look for suspicious boats off Somalia as part of the EU anti-piracy task force all as reported in this MSC(HOA) Press Release
On Monday 8th March, the Swedish Coast guard Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) conducted its first formal mission for EU NAVFOR’s anti piracy operation – Atalanta.

During the next four months one of the Swedish Coast Guard aircraft, a DASH 8, will monitor the waters off the coast of Somalia providing the Force Commander with essential information on the movements of ships in the area.

The Swedish Project Manager of the MPA in Seychelles Lars Franzen stated “We have just completed our first flight within the EU NAVFOR and we were in the air for around 6 hours. The flight was diverted because of suspicious activity in a particular area and It turned out to be suspect pirates who were remaining close to a fishing vessel. We were able to alert the Force Commander and document the incident.”

This is the first time a MPA from the Swedish Coast Guard has participated in an international operation of this type. The MPA is a DASH-8 Q-300 equipped with several advanced surveillance systems that makes it one of the worlds’s most advanced sea surveillance aircraft. The MPA is manned by a civilian crew.
A whole lot more on the DHC-8-Q300 in pdf format here.

From the Swedish CG website:(Google translation)
Coast Guard to find pirates

 In the spring, one of the Coast Guard planes to get a completely new task.  During the four months the crew will monitor the waters off the Somali coast in the Indian Ocean. The mission is to find, document and report piracy.

In the Gulf of Aden and in the waters off the Somali coast in progress for some years now an ever more intense acts of piracy and armed robbery against many UN food shipments, and against other merchant.

A look at the sensor package (from the pdf): 

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Sweden - Baltic Sea: Ferries trapped in ice

Ferries trapped in ice : Swedish Coast Guard:
At lunchtime today (Thursday 4 Mar 10) the ferry Birger Jarl was trapped in the ice, 0.3 nautical miles or about 550 meters from Tjarven. The vessel then drifted southward with the ice nearer Tjarven and ground around it.

Shortly after, also ferry Sea Wind was trapped in the ice, but no danger to the ship was not. Sea Wind is still in the area.

Coast guard aviation has this afternoon flown over the area with the two ferries. The evacuation of Birger Jarl, which was prepared by the MRCC was not needed to be implemented. Birger Jarl assisted now by the icebreaker Vidar Viking and towed into safer waters from the fairway to Stockholm.

During the late afternoon also ship Viking Rosella stuck in the ice in the same area.

Six ferries stuck in ice:(Friday 5 Mar 10)
The six ferries Via Mare, Sea Wind, Amorella, Isabella, Finnfellow and Regal Star has been stuck in ice off Kapellskar and runs against the basic fields Tjarven.

The ferries are assisted by tugs / icebreakers Tor Viking and Vidar Viking to get away from the ice and assistance toward safer waters. MRCC has launched a search and rescue, but an evacuation of the vessels are not current at the moment.

Coastguard vessel KBV 010 is heading for the area.

Happy ending here:
Four ferries carrying about 1,000 passengers have been freed from heavy ice off the coast of Sweden and were back in port Friday, said the Maritime Search and Rescue Center.

Arctic winds hampered icebreakers' efforts to free the ferries and at least 30 other ships from the icy grip of the Baltic Sea on Thursday, according to Birger Knutsson, a spokesman for the maritime center, in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The area with the worst ice was bounded by mainland Sweden, the Stockholm archipelago and the Finnish island of Aland, according to the Swedish Maritime Administration.

"It has been a lot colder than normal in the southern parts of the Baltic Sea. But in the north, all is normal, with normal levels of ice," said Tommy Gardebring with the maritime group.

"However, in the worst-affected areas, the icebreakers that normally operate haven't been able to cope with the ice.
I'm sure a good time was had by all.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pirates in the Baltic Sea?

A strange sea tale out of Sweden - a ship hijacking in the Baltic Sea reported here:
A ship was hijacked in Swedish waters early Friday morning last week, news wire TT reports. The boat was sailing between the islands of Öland and Gotland when the hijacking occurred.

Arriving in a boat with "police" painted on the side, a group of masked men searched the Malta-registered timber boat after tying up the crew, which was Russian.

The Swedish police only got word of the hijacking when the Russian Foreign Ministry called the Swedish police to ask why they acted in that fashion. But the Swedish police had never boarded the boat.

Ingemar Isaksson, who is heading the police investigation, said on Thursday that the hijackers spent more than 12 hours on the ship. Though it’s not completely clear what the English-speaking hijackers were after, the police suspect they were looking for drugs.

“This is the first time that I’ve heard about something like this happening in Swedish waters,” Ingemar Isaksson told TT.

Swedish police started investigating the case on Wednesday, but they have still haven’t come into contact with the ship, which apparently continued its normal route after the attack.
Other reports here, here and more details from here:
The attackers, who spoke English, tied the members of the crew of the Arctic Sea and beat them. They also searched the vessel thoroughly before leaving the ship at about noon on the same day.

Swedish police investigating the case are at a loss to come up with a motive for the attack, or who may have been responsible. Suspicions were raised by the fact that that the act of piracy was not reported until several days after the alleged events took place.
The head of the investigation, Ingemar Isaksson of the Swedish police believes that a hijacking did indeed occur, and that the shipping line and the crew were reluctant to approach Swedish authorities, because the pirates claimed to be police officers looking for drugs. Swedish authorities say that there is no suspicion that the ship would be carrying illegal substances.
UPDATE: It should be noted that NATO and EU member navies, as well as Russian naval forces, already patrol the Baltic Sea ... just like they patrol the waters off Somalia ...