Music by Simon and Garfunkle�

Since the early part of 1971, the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) in the Mediterranean have used two former US Swift Boats to successfully accomplish the exact same tasks as those which were performed by their US counterparts in South East Asia.

These Maltese Swifts are still on active duty today, performing routine patrols in cooperation with Italian and north African authorities to search for and interdict contraband and illegal aliens moving from the northern coast of Africa through Malta to the coasts of southern Europe.

In addition, they are used extensively for harbor security tasks in the many water ways of this tri-island nation, being the critical "first-on-the-scene" vessels during rescue at sea operations near the coastline, dangerous colateral functions such as disposal of un-exploded ordinance and explosives, and even at ceremonial events such as "standing in" to represent Royal Navy destroyer escorts in the historical re-enactment convoy of "Operation Pedestal" commemorating the relief of Malta from the Nazi blockade sixty plus years ago during World War II.

AFM Patrol Craft Papa 23

AFM Patrol Craft Papa 24

The vigilant sentinels of a peaceful nation

Participating as escorts for ceremonial occasions

Searching, towing and protecting

Taking in detainees for questioning and processing

View videos of the Armed Forces of Malta detaining and processing illegal immigrants
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Making rescues of a drowning swimmer or a grateful stranded German Shepard

Keeping current with weapons usage and maintenance skills

Some things change but still remain the same

Whether in calm or rough Seas

Both boats and sailors keep smiling

Taking time out for a spot of tea

After many years of faithful operation, the 12V71's were deserving of a major overhaul

It had been thirty plus years since the AFM Swifts first entered service in Malta

PCF-816 docked at Naval Base Coronado
Prior to transfer to the AFM

USN Swift Turnover Ceremony
April 5,1971

Papa 23 suffered extensive explosive damage but arose from the ashes to serve on

And the Maritime Squadron sailors remembered their fallen shipmates

Three generations of AFM Patrol Boats, from large to small
Italian Diciotti Class, US Protector Class & US Swift Class

Whether nestled contented in port or as free as the wind in the open sea
The Maritime Squadron Carries On the Swift Spirit with Grace and Pride

This web site is Copyright � 2002 by Robert B. Shirley.
All rights reserved.

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