Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, June 30, 2005

HMS Gotland Arrives in San Diego

The Swedish submarine HMS Gotland has been re-united with her crew in San Diego. Of note to those who think the US Navy needs to invest in small diesel submarines, and somehow thinks they'll still be able to respond quickly to distant threats:

“We have been waiting for this day,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jan Westas, commanding officer of Gotland, which was shipped on a container ship from Sweden while the crew traveled separately. “We have all missed Gotland. Everyone is motivated, ready and eager to go to sea and get back to work.”

Nonetheless, this should be a great training aid for the fleet, while freeing up local sub crews from the drudgery of playing "diesel-boat OPFOR". As soon as the crew gets Gotland recovered from the transit, they should be ready to support the fall cycle of exercises.

"Before beginning the yearlong training here, Gotland’s crew has to complete a lot of work to make the boat ready for sea.
“This is the first time Gotland has been in the Pacific, which is very different from the Baltic Ocean,” Westas said. Gotland was built for operating in the waters around Scandinavia, which has less salt content. “Now that we are in the Pacific, we will have to re-ballast Gotland for the Pacific.”

One last quote from the article didn't really make sense, so I think the JO2 writing the story may have messed it up; anyone who's working with the Swedes can correct me if I'm wrong, though:
"The 30-person male and female crew is comprised of 19 officers and 11 conscripts."

Nineteen officers? On a 30 person crew? And no enlisted volunteers? I'm wondering if the JO2 somehow committed the common media error of lumping in the Petty Officers with the commissioned "officers"...

Going deep...


Anonymous Gunner said...

The 2002-2003 Edition of "Combat Fleets of the World" (by the US Naval Institute) shows the GOTLANDs to have crews of 23 with no breakdown of officers vs enlisted.

However, Sweeden's older subs have 5 officers/15 enlisted, so it appears they use a similiar crew structure to the USN.

Interestingly enough, their entire navy is only 9,500 total:

2,700 officers
6,000 draftees
800 "other"

7/01/2005 7:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would hope a JO2 would understand the difference between officers and petty officers. Does the Swedish navy call them PO's or do they call them NCO's like our ground forces? This would make it more confusing, but a JO2 should still know the difference, and the JO2 shouldn't be the final review of the article before publication. It just reaffirms the adage, "don't believe everything you read."


7/01/2005 8:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, there are no Petty Officers/NCO:s in the swedish armed forces,only officers and "other ranks" including privates.

10/09/2005 8:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Swedish armed forces are mainly based on concripts or draftees. In this case the crew does not represent a normal distributin between offices and conscripts due to the specific task.
Yes, the Swedish navy are "only" 10,000 strong. But we are only 8 mil. people living here.

For more info see:


4/05/2006 7:19 PM

Anonymous DBFTMC said...

19 officers and 11 conscripts is correct. Conscripts only serve eleven months on active duty. Officers work, like really work, like a 3rd, or 2nd engineer on an MSC ship if your an engineer. Conscripts messcrank, and some are watchstanders on the one-man diving control station, and do other seaman gang kind of work.

By the way, to suggest that HMS Gotland is in some way going to compete with the speed and reach of a US SSN is nonesense. That was never the purpose of bringing her to San Diego. Rumor has it that USN ASW is having great difficulty finding Gotland. Our City boats have to go active to locate her, and that is the reason the lease was extended for a year. Yep, Hymie's boys who told CNO we don't need'em, and now can't find'em are indeed being punished. Better step up your game boys!

Oh, and another thing. What ever happened to the "brotherhood of the phin"? No host boat for Gotland! US boat sailors told to have no contact with the Swedes! What the hell kind of submarine Navy are the Nuc's running today??
I guess when you think you know everything, you can't learn nuthin!! Sounds pretty stupid to me......

Oh yea, my source for the above comments are a Swedish Navy Lt. Engineer type who gave me a tour of the boat, and a Submarine Squadron MCPO who is pretty disgusted with the way the Swedish crew is treated.

Ya'all Keep a zero bubble.....

7/13/2006 4:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A sub of Gotland's type isn't suposed to compete with an SSN. She's a coastal/littoral sub. Designed to defend the Swedish coastline from invasion.

So the US Navy really doesn't need one that kind of subs. But it is the kind of sub that the US Navy might meet under hostile conditions.

While she's kind of useless out on the wide ocean, she's purdy mean within the confines of the Persian Gulf.

Which is why the US Navy really wants to use her for OPFOR excercises.

Buying a couple of them and train the crews just to use for OPFOR would be quite silly. Esp since the Swedish Navy has a hard time getting money to operate her.

So the US wants target practice, Sweden wants to keep her subs running at lowest possible cost. Leasing the sub (and crew) sounds like a win-win situation to me :)

7/21/2006 4:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the Swedish rank structure a quick Google search got me this.

Looks like 4 enlisted ranks and everything above that is Officer.

As to training with the Gotland we "targets" or Surfaceguys dont have as good equipment as you do and if China, N Vietnam, Iran and a few other countries obtained one of these subs it would cause serios problems, and from the reports I have seen even our attack subs have a hard time finding them.


11/06/2006 11:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweden has a bloated officer corps. This is well known here in Sweden and more recently a heavy source of criticism.

It's becoming a beraucracy. They don't really do anything, even according to internal sources. They just protect their budget.

7/18/2009 2:44 PM

Anonymous Robert Smith said...

Excited to know that the Swedish submarine HMS Gotland has been re-united with her crew in San Diego. We in San Diego know that the the Swedish armed forces are mainly based on concripts or draftees.

5/18/2010 12:40 AM

Anonymous site said...

Quite worthwhile info, much thanks for the post.

7/20/2012 8:16 AM


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