The Republic of Korea’s CTF-151 flagship, Munmu the Great, and Chinese navy units in the Gulf of Aden have fostered greater level of cooperation through joint activity over the summer.

Rear Admiral Cho Young-joo and Rear Admiral Huang Xinjian meet on board the Chinese flagship Changchun.

For the past several weeks CMF’s Counter Piracy Force, CTF-151, and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy force in the Gulf of Aden, Escort Task Group 150 (ETG-150), have been increasing their level of cooperation to ensure greater security and freedom in the Gulf. The seed of this newfound cooperation was planted between the Commander CTF-151, Rear Admiral Cho Young-joo ROKN and the Commander ETG-150 Rear Admiral Huang Xinjian PLA-N, on 10 July 2014. During an open and friendly meeting on board the Chinese flagship Changchun, the two commanders discussed their respective missions and the potential for cooperation. The meeting included a ships tour and a luncheon where Rear Admiral Young-joo and his staff were made to feel most welcome.

Rear Admiral Cho Young-joo CTF-151 discusses Counter Piracy cooperation with Rear Admiral Huang Xinjian on board the Chinese flagship Changchun.

Through candid and future-orientated dialog, the two commanders discussed the necessity for enhanced cooperation between their forces in countering piracy threats to safeguard the legitimate and safe passage of maritime commerce. Specifically, the commanders established that the Chinese navy will continue their operational contribution to tackle piracy threats, which is the common goal of both forces in the strategic region of the Gulf of Aden.

Rear Admiral Huang Xinjian and Rear Admiral Cho Young-joo on Changchun’s flight deck prior to the Korean teams return to Munmu the Great.

Since this important meeting, ETG-150 has deepened their cooperation with CTF-151 on information sharing about piracy activities, meteorological information, and the positions of escort units when providing convoy escort to ships of all nations. On the basis of this information exchange, both organisations committed to looking for further opportunities for mutual cooperation. A second meeting of the two commanders is planned on board the flagship of CTF-151, Republic of Korea ship, Munmu the Great in early August. Rear Admiral Cho Young-joo said he was most appreciative of the Chinese efforts and their commitment to counter piracy operations adding; “Now we can truly say we go together!”