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Feature: Female sailors on escort mission in Gulf of Aden

By  Xing Xue, Li Youtao, Zhang Dongjie (People's Daily)    14:59, March 13, 2017

Female sailors pose for photo during a break. (Photo by Li Youtao from People’s Daily)

When women around the world celebrated the International Women's Day on Wednesday, 16 female soldiers of a Chinese navy fleet on an escort mission in the Gulf of Aden spent a special yet regular day by guarding the safety of Chinese and foreign merchant ships.

They are members of the 25th convoy fleet sent by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy for the missions since 2008. These young women, working as special combat soldiers, sailors or officers, stick to their posts on deck day and night.

Bai Shuo, helmswoman of the fleet, joined the navy after graduating from university in June, 2015.

Easy may her task seems, helming indeed calls for abundant knowledge such as gust calculation, tide calculation, and operation of multiple devices including compass, autopilot and azimuth instrument.

Female soldier Song Xi is on a training course. (Photo by Li Youtao from People’s Daily)

She remains stationed at her post in the wheel house throughout the day during the escort mission. Though it was tiring, she believes it is worthwhile as it guarantees security for the passing vessels.

Song Xi, one of female sailors, is a soldier from the PLA Marine Corps, and a senior student at Peking University. She is also the only female special force soldier on the fleet.

Whenever the combat alert rings in the waters of Gulf of Aden, Song would respond quickly and stop the suspicious vessels by barrage together with other male soldiers.

"Though I'm currently far away from the campus, I have found my value in the barrack," Song said. Many of the female sailors suffered from seasickness at the beginning of the mission, so did Song. However, she has overcome it and is now able to "resonate" to the sea.

On the Gulf of Aden, the 16 female sailors are showing China's confidence to the world through their service for the country. 

Two soldiers have a chat during a break. (Photo by Li Youtao from People’s Daily)

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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