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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