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China's naval fleet completes smooth handover between two convoys
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13:40, April 17, 2009

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At 3:30 pm local time (8:30 pm Beijing Time) on April 15, the smooth handover between two naval convoys of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) was completed onboard the ship "Wuhan."

According to PLA Navy deployment orders, starting 12:00 am Beijing Time on April 16, the second naval fleet has taken over the task to carry out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden off the waters of Somalia, and the ship "Weishanhu" has been transferred to the command of the second convoy.

The first escort convoy handed over relevant documents, materials, equipment, parts and components in reserve to the second convoy, and also provided a briefing on the military strength of the naval convoy.

After completing the handover, the two convoys set sail from the east entrance of the Strait of Bab el Mandeb on April 16, to perform the last joint escort mission. According to plans, the first naval convoy will depart from the Gulf of Aden on April 18 and is expected to return to Sanya, Hainan on April 28.

Yin Dunping, Deputy Commander of the first convoy, and Deputy Director of the Political Department of the South China Sea Fleet, said in an interview with correspondents, "We have successfully completed escort operations, and wish fellow officers and soldiers of the second convoy a successful completion of their escort missions as well."

Since departing from Sanya on December 26, 2008, the first convoy, composed of the ships "Wuhan," "Haikou" and "Weishanhu," has provided escort to 212 vessels, of which 166 vessels received escort on 41 separate occasions, and 46 vessels received escort protection in regional waters. In addition, the first naval convoy also rescued three raided ships and received and escorted a fishing vessel.

By People's Daily Online

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