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Military


ORP "Kontradmiral Xawery CZERNICKI"

The modern, multipurpose logistic support ship ORP "Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki" fulfills all the NATO standards for warships and the present world requirements for ships. The ship is prepared to operate everywhere in the world and will significantly improve the ability to support Polish Navy ships during exercises and peace operations in which Poland may participate in the future. She will also be able to support NATO ships in the Baltic and neighboring seas.

The ship was built at the Northern Shipyard in Gdansk. The ship's design was based on the hull of degaussing station project 130, which was being built for a Russian company and wasn't accepted, the contract was signed in March 2000. The process of taking over the ship by the Polish Navy was completed at the beginning of August 2001. Most of the equipment and systems was provided by the Polish industry and most of the technical solutions were created at the Polish research institutes. She is the biggest ship built at the Polish shipyards for the Polish Navy. The process have also started another phase of cooperation between the Polish Navy and the national shipbuilding industry. It will effect in building new multipurpose corvettes and minehunters, works on which are already underway.

The ship may transport 140 troops with vehicles, food and equipment, she also enables conducting landing operations with a use of helicopters and boats. The ship may transport vehicles and containers. The flight deck equipment may provide full service for transport and combat helicopters. The ship is equipped to be able to support personnel and equipment evacuation from dangerous regions. Her main task is supplying ships at sea with food, fresh water, fuel, ammunition and weapons and at her well equipped workshops advanced repairs and servicing of other ships and their systems is possible. The ship may receive and utilize waste from other ships. Being armed, with possibility of adding more armament and electronic systems, the ship may serve as a patrol unit and as a command ship. She may be also used as a base for smaller units.

On 10 July 2002 the ORP "Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki" left her homeport in Swinoujscie and joined the support group of the 5th US Fleet in the Persian Gulf. The main tasks of the ship were related to the logistic support of the operational forces, control of shipping and cooperation with naval special forces and marines. The ship hosted onboard special forces teams from the US Navy and the US Marine Corps and special forces from the Royal Australian Navy. The teams closely cooperated with the Polish Navy special forces FORMOZA teams. The control of shipping was conducted using the ship's boarding boats and with a support of the US Navy and Australian Navy helicopters. All the tasks were carried out in the highest readiness conditions and using the ship's armament.

Upon launch of the military operation against the Saddam Husain regime the ship operated with the Polish Navy special forces "Formoza" teams, as well as a support ship for the US Navy special forces. She was also used as a base for smaller craft of various nations which were patrolling the coastal waters of Iraq and the mouth of Kaa river. The logistic support ship ORP "Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki" took part in the escort of the first humanitarian relieve transport to Umm Qasr together with British and Australian ships. She also escorted several other ships with humanitarian cargo for the population of Iraq.

After the war operations had ended and part of the forces had been withdrawn from the Persian Gulf the Polish ship took over patrol and anti-pirate tasks in the mouth of Kaa river area. This time she operated alone using her armament, boarding groups and teams of "Formoza" commando. Some of the tasks were conducted on the Iraqi waters. The ship was also fighting the plunders who used rivers and channels to transport stolen goods.

While in the Persian Gulf the crew of the Polish ship conducted four rescue operations as a part of the coalition SAR system. In the first operation, on 21 December, the ship participated in rescuing the crew of an Iranian fishing cutter. 8 sailors were taken of the sinking cutter and carried to the "Czernicki" by an US Navy helicopter which was called in by the ship's CO. The fishermen, who were exhausted, hungry and dehydrated went on the Polish ship through a medical examination, were fed and send on land. The next two rescue actions were conducted in May. On Saturday, 3 May, the crew of the ORP "Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki" received a distress signal from an Iraqi cutter fishing in the Persian Gulf. One of the cutter crewmembers had a serious hand infection. Thank to a quick intervention of the ship's medical corpsmen the fisherman hand was saved. The next day, 4 May, the ship's doctor dressed a leg wound of an Iraqi merchant ship crewmember.

The fourth rescue operation was conducted by the ship on the 7th of July. A fishing cutter flying a flag of Kuwait was sinking. The May Day signal was received on the Polish ship while on an international ship task group patrol near the Iraqi coast. The sinking cutter "Jomar" with a 9 members crew was 3 nautical miles from the ORP "Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki". The "Czernicki" approached the cutter. The crew of the fishing boat did not have any basic emergency equipment. The CO of the Polish ship sent the ship's own DC team to help the cutter. Drain pump was passed to the cutter and the DC team conducted an inspection of the boat. The Polish sailors detected hull puncture and a leak on the propulsion shaft. The operation of draining and stopping the leakage took the DC team of the "Czernicki" 3 hours. Next the ORP "Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki" towed the cutter to the mouth of Kaa river where Kuwait's ships took over. The whole operation was secured by a "Formoza" fire team and a Royal Australian Navy helicopter. The Persian Gulf waters were still dangerous and a possibility of a provocation or ambush had to be considered.

On the 31 July 2003 the Commander US Fifth Fleet Vice Admiral Timothy J. Keating and the Polish Ambassador to Kuwait thanked the ship's crew for an outstanding mission. On the 1st of August the ship departed the Mina Salman Base in Bahrain and set course for the country.

Over 120 sailors of two crews of the ship, the special forces "Formoza" unit, liaison officers team stationed at the Coalition Forces Headquarters and logistics specialists participated in the mission. The ships sailed 27787 nautical miles while in the operation ENDURING FREEDOM and 7383 nautical miles in the operation IRAQUI FREEDOM. Over 350 tons of cargo and 330 people were transported. The ship conducted 36 patrols, most of them in difficult conditions storms and sand storms, temperature up to 47 degrees Celsius.

The crew of the ORP "Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki" took part in the European Union referendum. A referendum committee was created in the Base, some of the members of the committee were selected from the liaison officers team.

Ship

Commissioned

Flotilla

ORP "Kontradmiral
Xawery CZERNICKI"

1st of September 2001 8th Coast Defence
Flotilla
Swinoujscie

Technical characteristics:

  • Total length: 73,8 meters
  • Beam: 13,8 meters
  • Lateral height: 5,6 meters
  • Draught: 4,3 meters
  • Displacement: 2 390 tons
  • Speed: 14,1 knots
  • Propulsion: 2 x 1080 kW
  • Crew: 38/140

Built:
Northern Shipyard - Gdansk

Project:
Northern Shipyard Design Office
Ship Design Plant, Center of Shipping Technique,
Design office of Repair Shipyard

Keel placement: 16.08.2000

ORP Kontradmiral Xawery CZERNICKI

ORP Kontradmiral Xawery CZERNICKI ORP Kontradmiral Xawery CZERNICKI ORP Kontradmiral Xawery CZERNICKI ORP Kontradmiral Xawery CZERNICKI ORP Kontradmiral Xawery CZERNICKI ORP Kontradmiral Xawery CZERNICKI



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Page last modified: 14-08-2012 14:40:09 ZULU