Swedish Specialized Boarding Element Members' Experiences of Naval Hostile Duty

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Hindorf M, Lundberg L, Jonsson A 18(3). 45 - 49 (Journal Article)

Background: The Swedish naval specialized boarding element participated in Operation Atalanta in 2013 to mitigate piracy by escorting and protecting ships included in the United Nations World Food Program in the Indian Ocean. We describe the experiences of the Swedish naval specialized boarding-element members during 4 months of international naval hostile duty. Some studies have reported experiences of naval duty for the Coast Guard or the merchant fleet; however, we did not find any studies that identified or described experiences of long-time duty onboard ship for the naval armed forces. Materials and Methods: The respondents wrote individual notes of daily events while onboard. Conventional content analysis was used on the collected data, using an inductive approach. Results: The findings revealed three broad themes: military preparedness, coping with the naval context, and handling physical and mental strain. Different categories emerged indicating that the participants need the ability to adapt to the naval environment and to real situations. Conclusion: The Swedish naval forces should train their specialized element members in coping strategies.

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