On 30th November the Force Commander of EU NAVFOR, Rear Admiral Fabio Gregori, hosted onboard the Italian warship ITS Fasan, a delegation from the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Escort Task Group 171 led by Senior Captain Huang Fengzhi.
This is the third time this year where warships from the PLA NAVY and EU NAVFOR have met in the Gulf of Aden to enhance their cooperation in preventing piracy. This first meeting between ITS Fasan and PLA Navy Ship Haikou has again shown how Navies from different parts of the world can come together to secure these vital sea lanes off the coast of Somalia.
Following a boat transfer the PLA Navy delegation were warmly welcomed and given a tour of the ITS Fasan’s bridge before a meeting that presented each other’s mission and to understand in more depth operational topics that would help to better combat the piracy threat. It was understood that there were mutual perceptions and concerns regarding counter-piracy which was also discussed at the 41st SHADE meeting in Bahrain, which also included a Chinese delegation.
This excellent cooperation and coordination highlights the recent success of both operations ability to deal with piracy threats; earlier this year the PLA Navy successfully detained and transferred pirates for prosecution who had boarded the Merchant Vessel OS35 and also EU NAVFOR who detained and transferred six suspected pirates to the Seychelles following attacks against the Galerna III and MV Ever Dynamic. Both task groups pass information on counter-piracy operations and work closely together to safeguard peace and stability in the region.