International counter piracy forces met at sea to discuss new ways of working together to combat the threat to merchant shipping posed by Somali-based pirate groups.
The commanders from the Chinese Escort Task Group (ETG) 999 and the Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 met onboard the PLA(N) Jinggangshan in the Gulf of Aden.
The meeting aimed to foster good relations and enhance cooperation between the forces, whose shared objective is to promote maritime security in the region.
Commodore Jeremy Blunden, Royal Navy, Commander of CTF 151, was warmly received by Rear Admiral Jiang Zhonghua, People’s Liberation Army (Navy) onboard the Chinese warship.
They reviewed the current challenges to maritime security and discussed ways in which their counter piracy forces can coordinate future efforts to deter and defeat piracy.
Commodore Blunden said: “It was a great delight to visit the Escort Task Group today. Counter piracy is an international effort and the Chinese Navy plays an important part of that effort.”
Rear Admiral Zhonghua said: “The Chinese Escort Task Group, first deployed in December 2008. Since that time it has maintained a productive exchange with other counter piracy forces, including CTF 151, and would like to carry that forward.
“ETG 999 extends sincere congratulations for what CTF 151 has achieved during its deployment and would like to continue to learn from its experiences.”
CTF-151 is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). In accordance with International law and United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and in cooperation with non-member forces, CTF-151′s mission is to disrupt piracy and armed robbery at sea and to engage with regional and other partners to build capacity and improve relevant capabilities in order to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation.