As part of the ongoing efforts by counter piracy forces to improve cooperation and strengthen mutual understanding in counter piracy operations in the Gulf, members from Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 visited the Chinese Navy missile destroyer CNS Harbin.
Rear Admiral Yuan Yubai, Commander of Escort Task Group (ETG) 112, welcomed Rear Admiral Giam Hock Koon, Republic of Singapore Navy, Commander, CTF 151 and members of his multinational staff.
CNS Harbin, together with the frigate CNS Mianyang and the supply ship CNS Weishanhu constitute the People’s Liberation Army (Navy) [PLA(N)] ETG 112, currently deployed in the Gulf of Aden to conduct convoy escort operations and ensure safe passage of both Chinese and international merchant vessels through the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC).
During the visit, the team from CTF 151 received a brief on ETG 112 operations, toured the CNS Harbin and interacted with their counterparts over lunch. The Commanders of CTF 151 and ETG 112 exchanged views on the counter-piracy situation and explored ways to improve cooperation.
“We share a common purpose – to defeat piracy and ensure the security of international shipping. We also recognise the benefits of coordinating our efforts to achieve greater effectiveness,” said RAdm Giam.
The visit also provided the opportunity for the multinational team to learn about the PLA(N). “This was my first time onboard a Chinese vessel. This was a great opportunity to learn more about the People’s Liberation Army (Navy) and their contributions to counter-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden,” said Lt Cdr Himawan of the Indonesian Navy.
“It is important for the international community to continue to engage and encourage each other as we all work together to combat piracy in the region,” said Lt Gaeten Haentjens, French Navy. “China brings its own unique capabilities which enhance the overall response to suspected pirate activity.”
The Singapore-led CTF 151 multinational command team is embarked on Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Fort Victoria. Combined Maritime Forces established CTF 151 in January 2009 specifically to deter, disrupt and thwart piracy operations.
It is a multinational task force that conducts counter-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. Command of CTF 151 rotates through the nations of the Combined Maritime Forces every three months, with the current team due to hand over to a team from the Pakistan Navy in June.