HDMS Olfert Fischer (F355)

HDMS Olfert Fischer (F355)

HDMS Olfert Fischer (F355) is one of three Niels Juel class corvettes belonging to the Royal Danish Navy, currently 2. Squadron, 21st Division.

Service in the 1991 Gulf War

Among the Danish public the Olfert Fischer is probably the most well-known of all the ships of the Royal Danish Navy due to its participation in both the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq War. In both wars the ship played an essential role to the allied forces.

During the Gulf War, OLFI was primarily stationed in the Southern Persian Gulf (SAG) where no actual fighting took place. The crew that served aboard the "OLFI" during its first combat sortie all received Forsvarets medalje (the Danish defence medal), and Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia).

Service in the 2003 Iraq War

Prior to OLFI's participation in the 2003 Iraq War, the ship was leaving its homebase in order to go to the Mediterranean Sea on a routine mission. Just before departure, the chief of the Navy's 2. Squadron promised in a speech to the crew and their families present at the pier that "...we are NOT sending your boys and girls, husbands and wives to war!". The ship left the base en route to the Mediterranean Sea earlier than originally scheduled due to protests going on near the base. When activists from "Global Roots" eventually forced their way into the naval base, they found that the OLFI had steamed more than one hour before their entry of the military facility. Most of the activists found themselves arrested by police and military police.

Four days after departure from Denmark, the Iraq War began, and OLFI received new orders; to proceed to the Gulf area at best speed and join the coalition forces. The ship made a short stop in Spain and the Greek island of Crete in order to replenish before proceeding through the Suez Canal.

After joining the coalition at the base in Bahrain, OLFI operated at the front line in the North Persian Gulf (NAG) and far up the Iraqi rivers; especially the waterways of Kwah Ab Allah (KAA). The vessel never got involved in actual combat. All missions were carried out successfully without a single shot being fired. Among the coalition forces it was quite remarkable that OLFI could carry out all of its missions during the war only by peaceful and diplomatic means.

Also present in the Persian Gulf area was the Danish submarine . This vessel primarily operated in the Southern Persian Gulf in order to protect the Strait of Hormuz.

Upon their return to Denmark, the entire crew except the commanding officer of the Olfert Fischer received the Forsvarets medalje. The commanding officer did not receive this medal because he received it after serving as the operations officer (OPO) of the Olfert Fischer during the first Gulf War.


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