The amphibious dock landing ship Changbaishan of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy’s eighteenth escort task force has docked at the Port of Djibouti to take on supplies.
The Changbaishan, which has just completed the 778th escort mission for ships in the Gulf of Aden area, docked at the Port of Djibouti on November 3 for a five-day in-port rest and replenishment stop, reports ChinaMil.
This is the third round of in-port rest and replenishment for the 18th Chinese naval escort taskforce since it set sail on August 1 this year.
So far the 18th Chinese naval escort taskforce has completed 29 batches of escort missions, escorted 77 Chinese and foreign ships, provided special escort for 10 Chinese merchant ships in seven batches, and successfully driven away a number of suspicious skiffs, ensuring the safety of the escorted ships as well as itself, ChinaMil reports.
To ensure the continuous and uninterrupted implementation of escort tasks, the Yuncheng and Chaohu warships of the escort taskforce will undertake the escort mission in the Gulf of Aden during the Changbaishan ship’s in-port rest and replenishment.
China has deployed anti-piracy task forces to the Gulf of Aden since December 2008 and has escorted 5 670 Chinese and foreign ships and assisted over 60 vessels. Since the first task force arrived off East Africa in January 2009, Chinese navy task forces have been typically rotated every four months.
The 18th People’s Liberation Army Navy escort task force comprises the amphibious dock landing ship Changbaishan, the guided missile frigate Yuncheng and the supply ship Chaohu Lake. The task force also includes three helicopters and 100 special operations members.
Chinese anti-piracy task forces visit ports in the region, such as in Djibouti, Oman and Yemen, to take on supplies but have also embarked on friendly visits to countries in the area. Earlier this year the 16th escort task group visited eight African countries, including South Africa, after concluding its anti-piracy duties.