Karlskrona Naval Base is located in the Karlskrona Municipality, Blekinge County, Sweden. It is the main naval base of the Swedish Navy. It provides installation support and technical facilities for various naval units home-ported at Karlskrona.
The base employs over 1,750 personnel including regular officers, civilian employees, reserve officers, squad leaders, soldiers and sailors.
Location and layout
The naval base is strategically located in the centre of the Baltic Sea region. The well sheltered location receives protection from the rugged terrain of Trossö and islands situated close to Karlskrona.
The base is accessed through a narrow and deep fairway which allows deep draft vessels to enter the base. The favourable ice conditions in the area made Karlskrona a substantial component in the defence of Sweden. Though the main base is located in Karlskrona, the detachments are spread over ten different locations.
The history of Karlskrona naval base is closely associated with that of the city of Karlskrona. Following the peace treaty between Sweden and Denmark after the Scanian War (1675-1679), King Charles XI of Sweden completed a reconnaissance trip in the eastern Blekinge archipelago. The king decided to build a city then called Carlscroona on the island of Trossön.
The main reason for creating a permanent base at Trossön was to have a close approach with Denmark, which had enmity with Sweden throughout the 1600s. The foundation for the naval town was laid in 1680. The new construction and repair yard, depot and barracks were built. Other notable structures created were the main guardhouse, ship’s models room and mustering hall, chapman gate, the sculpture’s workshop, careening wharf, Polhem dry dock and Wasa shed. The new base was mostly ice-free in comparison with Stockholm, which was then the Navy’s main naval base.
Karlskrona pulled much attention from the world and stood as a model for a number of similar facilities created in the Europe. The base occupied almost half of the central city until the 1960s, and today the military presence in Karlskrona is remarkably large. The Naval Port of Karlskrona was named a World Heritage Site in December 1998.
Karlskrona base operations
Karlskrona houses the Swedish Navy’s Naval Chief of Staff. The naval base monitors the territorial waters of Sweden and provides the basic training for about 1,200 service personnel as well as specialist divers of the Swedish Armed Forces. It also controls the Home Guards and national protection forces deployed in the counties of Kronoberg, Kalmar and Blekinge.
The base is home to the 1st Submarine Flotilla and the 3rd Naval Warfare Flotilla. The First Submarine Flotilla operates submarine fleet round the year to monitor and protect the territorial sea of Sweden. It also participates in covert intelligence gathering and marine specialist company with divers. The flotilla includes three Gotland Class submarines HMS Gotland, HMS Uppland and HMS Halland, as well as two Södermanland Class submarines including HMS Södermanland and HMS Östergötland.
The 3rd Naval Warfare Flotilla consists of 31 Corvette division, 33 Mine-layer division and 34 Maintenance division. The 31 Corvette division operates two Stockholm Class corvettes, HMS Stockholm and HMS Malmö, two Visby Class corvettes HMS Helsingborg and HMS Härnösand, as well as three Tapper Class patrol boats. The 33 Mine-layer division operates two Koster Class minelayers, a Mine-layer ship, Spårö and a work ship, HMS Fårösund. The 34 Maintenance division operates a support ship HMS Trossö (A264).
The base facilities are located in the Eastern part of the naval yard. The Western portion of the naval yard is used to build modern ships and submarines. The "Five finger" docks are used to dock the Navy’s warships.
The naval base includes barracks, officer’s housing, workshops and storehouses at the southern part of Trossö. A number of establishments are also located outside Trossö at Stumholmen and Lyckeby.
Other facilities and services
The response and training battalion provides basic military training for the soldiers and sailors of the Swedish Armed Forces. Armed Forces diving and naval medical centre (DNC) is a joint armed resource that trains various categories of divers.
Karlskrona naval base also trains and recruits staff for Home Guard and volunteer activities. The naval base training aid department supports the garrison units and the Armed Forces in southern Sweden by providing training grounds and firing ranges. Defence Health Services serves all the employees residing in the base.