Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sweden's Sub Hunt: Just a Navy Training Drill?

Color emphasis added by M.E.:

Background

BBC's Swedish submarine hunt review in 60 seconds
  •  "...Sweden's biggest mobilization since the Cold War"
  •  "The Baltic is reknowned as a training area for submariners."
  •   "Sweden has pointed no fingers..."

Sweden's Military Problem
    
(From The Strategy Page "Sweden Runs Out Of Soldiers", James Dunnigan, February 8, 2011)
Sweden is running out of soldiers. It all began when, six months ago, Sweden abolished conscription. Sweden has been reducing the size of its armed forces over the past decade, and has been discussing the mechanics of abolishing conscription for over three years. As a result of that, fewer (recently only 10,000 a year) young men were being conscripted, and for shorter (11 months) terms. With conscription gone, Sweden thought they could rely on volunteers, serving for longer terms of service. 
... Many of those officers and NCOs are simply leaving the military, or planning to. So there is some anxiety about what shape the Swedish military will be in by 2014, although at this point it appears it will be smaller than planned.

Reality (public information to date)

  • Not a live-fire exercise so far
The Swedish military said its intelligence operation began on Friday following information from a 'credible source', and involved a few hundred people. The military talked down reports in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper that Sweden had begun a search after a distress signal in Russian was detected on an emergency frequency on Thursday evening.

And that encrypted radio traffic from a point in the Stockholm archipelago and Kaliningrad were also later picked up.
    
Anders Nordin from the Swedish Maritime Administration said a Russian-owned oil tanker, Concord, which had reportedly been circling near Swedish waters for days, started sailing in a northeasterly direction toward Russia on Sunday morning. But it suddenly turned around and headed back in the direction of Sweden, according to Marine Traffic, a website which monitors vessels in the Baltic Sea.
    +++++++++++++++++++

    It is highly unlikely that a cryptographic communication center (e.g. Koros Island) would reveal its interception and decryption of an emergency message from a Russian sub to Kallningrad.  It is more likely, in our experience, that a much needed Swedish Military training excercise, a PR recruiting effort, or a combination of both, have been conducted with renewed world attention.  And so we hope.

    Submarines are always silent and strange.

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    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    Answers to Sub Mystery Questions from 20 OCT 2014

    Background information, links and illustration(s) for questions are found at original posting here.

     ANSWERS - Sub Mystery Q.O.T.W.

    1 - What says the inscription on the brass plaque? ANS: "DEDICATED TO THE USS SEAWOLF LOST IN WWII"

    2 - To what submarine does this plaque refer (hull number). ANS:  SS-197.

    3 - (Answer only the most appropriate of the following statements):
    .... The vessel is currently in commission and was launched _____ (date). X
    .... The vessel is on Eternal Patrol and was lost ____ (date?)  ANS3 OCT 1944.

    4 - Select the most appropriate question to answer as required:
    ...a) The plaque is mounted on the CO's stateroom door. Y/N?  N
    ...b) The plaque rests on the desk of an elected senator in Washington, D.C.. Y/N?  N
    ...c) The plaque is mounted on the door of a Pentagon office. Y/N?  N
    ...d) The plaque is mounted on _____ (object) and ____ (geographical location).  ANS:  A plaque commemorating each of WWII's fifty-two lost U.S. subs is positioned on a sequential pew in The Chapel of the Thames (located on the US Navy Submarine Base in Groton, CT).
    ...e) None of the above. Y/N? N

    5 - To what submarine specs (class) was this boat originally built?  ANS: Portsmouth N.S. (Government) Sargo class specs.

    6 - We receive little or no news of this submarine. Why is that?  ANS: Seawolf was sunk during submerged transit in a mistaken attack by USS Rowell (DE-403); all men on Seawolf were lost (100 officers and men including 16 Army personnel).


    Submarines are always silent and strange.

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    Monday, October 20, 2014

    Sub Mystery Question of the Week: 20 OCT 2014

    Background
    Photo analysis demands skill.  There is no such thing as "cheating" when members of an intelligence community perform the analysis --- so, readers are also invited to cheat, as you like.  This week's questions relate to the partial image (small picture) below.  Readers adept at photo analysis should be able to develope the "big picture" from just this small piece.  Those who try without initial success may improve their skill.

     Whited-out areas of the photo and quite a bit not shown were removed to make answers more challenging for most readers.  Nonetheless, a fair number of active duty people may guess correct answers from the remaining detail.

    QOTW

    1 - What says the inscription on the brass plaque?

    2 - To what submarine does this plaque refer (hull number).

    3 - (Answer only the most appropriate of the following statements):
    .... The vessel is currently in commission and was launched _____ (date).
    .... The vessel is on Eternal Patrol and was lost ____ (date?)

    4 - Select the most appropriate question to answer as required:
    ...a) The plaque is mounted on the CO's stateroom door. Y/N?
    ...b) The plaque rests on the desk of an elected senator in Washington, D.C.. Y/N?
    ...c) The plaque is mounted on the door of a Pentagon office. Y/N?
    ...d) The plaque is mounted on _____ (object) and ____ (geographical location). 
    ...e) None of the above. Y/N?

    5 - To what submarine specs (class) was this boat originally built?

    6 - We receive little or no news of this submarine. Why is that?

    ANSWERS:  Wednesday, October 22nd next.

    Submarines are always silent and strange.

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