The two Swedish Hkp 15 (Agusta A109) naval helicopters deployed off the coast of Somalia have returned home on August 21, 2013, to be checked by an animal expert, according to a press release by the Swedish Armed Forces.
During the last four months the two choppers gave naval vessel HMS Carlskrona necessary support and increased operating range while fighting pirates at sea near the Horn of Africa, part of the international effort called Operation Atalanta.
On August 20, 2013, a Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlifter took the choppers from Djibouti to F17 Malmslätt at Linköping, home of the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Command (Försvarsmaktens Helikopterflottiljen). Upon arrival they will spend 10 days in quarantine, then will receive maintenance and only then will return to active service with 3 Helicopter Squadron at Ronneby in southern Sweden.
,,We want to be sure there are no small harmful things left in for example earth particles on the helicopters”, writes a Försvarsmaktens press spokesperson. ,,Believe it or not, the helicopter will even get a check-up by a veterinarian.”
After the enduring contact with salty water some helicopter parts will be changed, mostly bolts and screws.
HMS Carlskrona will return from Africa the coming weekend. 3 Helicopter Squadron and its naval Hkp15s at Ronneby will next participate in Northern Coasts 2013, a two week exercise at the Baltic Sea in the middle of September.