Friday, July 15, 2005

Swedish Sub Heads To Sea, Readies For Mock Battle

Swedish Submarine Gotland
With their fill of margaritas, burritos and some American-style barbecue hamburgers, a Swedish navy crew took their attack Submarine Gotland into the Pacific Ocean and prepared to wage mock battle and combat operations with U.S. 3rd Fleet. On July 11, Gotland slipped from the submarine piers at the Point Loma Naval Base and glided from San Diego Bay into the Pacific’s tepid, deep waters for a three-week training cycle at sea. For a crew more accustomed to the frigid waters of the Baltic and sub-Arctic region, this historic California deployment — the first for the Swedish navy — is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They were eager to get to see and note the differences in the Pacific’s temperature, salinity, topography and even its sea life, sure to test sonar technicians’ keen senses. “It’s a much larger ocean out here, much deeper,” noted Lt. Cmdr. Jens Nykvist, 36, commander of the “gold” crew, which arrived in San Diego July 5 and hustled to get Gotland out to sea. “The sonar picture is going to be quite interesting for the first time at sea,” said Lt. Tobias Soderblom, 32, combat information systems officer. “The ship will operate almost as if home, obviously in deeper waters and bigger space.”

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