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Naval Base

The Swedish Navy's main naval base is situated at Karlskrona but base activities are carried out at a total of ten locations. The overall purpose of the Naval base is to act as home to, and support, the various naval units with services such as technical facilities and maritime transport.

The Naval Base is responsible for monitoring all Sweden's territorial waters, the basic training of almost 1,200 national service personnel annually and the training of specialist divers for the whole of the Swedish Armed Forces. The Naval Base is also responsible for the Home Guard's national protection forces in the counties of Kronoberg, Kalmar and Blekinge.

With its central position in the Baltic Sea region and its favourable ice conditions, the naval base at Karlskrona has played a significant part in the defence of Sweden ever since the city of Karlskrona was founded by King Karl XI in the year 1680.

In the late 1960s, Stockholm's warships at Djurgården and Skeppsholmen were replaced by a facility at Muskö. in the aftermath of World War II, Sweden began to consider whether tt was so wise to have such a large military target in the middle of Stockholm. After an investigation, the Muskö base became the Swedish Navy's new strategic base. It began construction in 1950 and was inaugurated nineteen years later by King Gustav VI Adolf, on 30 September 1969.

But before the inauguration of the base, the Navy had to solve the issue with communications. Therefore, the 3 kilometer long Muskö tunnel was, built which was considered to be a better alternative than a bridge. The tunnel connects Muskövägen and Muskö together with the mainland. I The Muskö tunnel was inaugurated in 1964 and was one of Europe's longest tunnels. The construction took place under the auspices of the Fortification Administration and the tunnel was only reserved for military traffic when it opened in 1963. On March 15, 1964, however, the road for public traffic was opened. Responsibility for the road was handed over to the then Royal Swedish Road and Water Board.

In 1969 an underground area as large as a town, the Muskö Naval Base - was inaugurated. Muskö Plant [Musköanläggningen] mountain facility was inaugurated in 1969, but was started already in 1950. The underground part of the Muskö base has two miles of road. In the mountain there are three underground docks (two destroyer docks and one Submarine dock, a slip, workshops, storage, offices, war hospitals and sewage treatment plants.

The mountain rooms are total to the surface as large as Old Town in Stockholm. The construction work excavated 1.5 million cubic meters rock mass out of the mountain. The plant is divided into several blocks, which have their own power plants and ventilation and can function completely separately from the outside world. The war kitchen has the capacity to serve 2,000 servings three times a day. The docks are 145 meters long and are the bottom to the ceiling large enough to accommodate Katarinahissen (38 meters high). In the mid-1990s, about 800 people worked in the mountain facility.

A government defense decision in 2004 directed that the Swedish navy would only be have a Marine base with operations concentrated in Karlskrona, and therefore the base of Muskö began to be wound up 2005. In the mid-1990s, about 800 people who had their work place in the rock facility. After 2004 it was 438 people who worked there. But the armed forces still remained at Muskö. By 2020 there were about a hundred Defense employees. More than twenty-five people work for the Swedish fortifications Agency and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration. Also there were private actors such as MKAB, green Company and SAAB Missile Activities in the establishment.

After 15 years of disuse, the Muskö naval base 70 kilometres south of Stockholm is once again part of Sweden's armed forces. On 30 September 2019, a re-inauguration ceremony was held with the Navy's music corps and a parade, exactly 50 years after Muskö's original inauguration in 1969. Social Democrat Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist interpreted the Navy's return to Musköbasen as an security policy signal. “It is probably the world's largest underground base. Here we have a very important and unique resource that we can develop in different ways”, Hultqvist explained in his speech.

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Page last modified: 02-10-2019 18:46:19 ZULU