Thursday marked the eighth anniversary of the launch of the Chinese Navy's escort mission at the Gulf1 of Aden, the body of water to the north of Somalia in the Horn of Africa, an area of frequent pirate activity.
On the same day the PLA Navy finished its 1,000th task by escorting a Singaporean merchant ship to the eastern sea area of the Gulf.
Since 2008, 25 batches2
of escort formations, including 78 naval3 vessels4
, 54 helicopters, and over 21,000 officers and soldiers, have convoyed nearly 6,300 ships from across the world to destinations safely. Altogether 60 ships that got into difficulty have been assisted.
The Navy has kept its record of 100% security of both the escortees and themselves.
The escort fleets are five times faster today than they were eight years ago in completing an anti-pirate deployment5
. The time helicopters need to react to an emergency situation has shrunk to one third of that of 2008. The speed of Special forces deployment has also doubled.
The Navy is not exclusive to the Gulf of Aden area, but is made available when emergencies occur in other regions. For example, it went to the Mediterranean6
Sea and escorted 20 batches of Syrian chemical weapons, along with vessels from Russia, Denmark, and Norway.