The U.S. Navy and the Swedish Navy will begin a bilateral training effort that provides a Swedish advanced diesel submarine and crew for U.S. Navy fleet anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training.
Commencing in early 2005, the partnership will focus on ASW system test and evaluation as well as the combined development of naval capabilities.
Recent establishment of the Fleet ASW Command in San Diego, Calif., combined with the planned deployment of a state-of-the-art Swedish diesel sub and crew to the West Coast, provides our forces innovative opportunities to train during combined exercises, said U.S. Fleet Forces Command Director of Readiness and Training Rear Adm. Don Bullard.
The Swedish Navy will provide an advanced diesel submarine, a Gotland-class air independent propulsion (AIP) submarine, for the U.S. Navys long-term use. ASW training will be conducted from San Diego. The Swedish submarine will be Swedish-flagged, commanded, manned and operated. U.S. Navy personnel will be onboard the Swedish submarine as riders and observers for training purposes.
This U.S.-Swedish effort will demonstrate the further development of international interoperability between the two nations, said Inspector of the Royal Swedish Navy, Rear Adm. Jrgen Ericsson. Sweden is currently reorganizing the Swedish armed forces with extensive focus on international operations in which the Swedish Navy contributes a unique capability in maritime security in the littorals.
The mission of this training effort is to conduct focused and integrated ASW training and assessment of the U.S. Navys fleet ASW operations, tactics and doctrine, and ASW education. The U.S.-Swedish effort will focus on the following improvements to:
1) The performance of fleet operators on all ASW platforms;
2) The ASW performance assessment at theater, carrier/expeditionary strike group, unit- level ship, aviation squadron and submarine levels against standardized, common metrics;
3) Individual student ASW training and qualifications;
4) Overall theater undersea warfare capability.
Nations around the globe continue to acquire quiet and lethal submarines designed to operate in littoral regions and the open ocean. With advanced weaponry developments, the nature of ASW has changed, increasing the risks to operations at sea.
Control of littoral environments is essential to ensuring prompt access for joint forces moving ashore from the sea. Future ASW effectiveness in this critical area demands a dedicated focus on and sensors, new operating concepts and fleet ASW training. Through U.S. and Swedish efforts, both navies are meeting this challenge head on.
This will vastly improve our capability to conduct realistic, effective antisubmarine warfare training that is so critical to the Navys ability to accomplish our mission, added Bullard. It also expands our efforts in developing coalition ASW tactics, techniques and procedures. This is a great opportunity for both navies and we are very excited about it."
This bilateral effort is a great example of the U.S. and Swedish navies commitment to ensure that our naval service and those of our allies and partners retain operational primacy at sea.