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People's Daily Online

Chinese naval fleet returns from Somali waters

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 15:47, March 19, 2015

ZHANJIANG, Guangdong, March 19 -- After more than seven months at sea, covering more than 110,000 nautical miles, a Chinese fleet wrapped up its escort mission on Thursday.

The 18th convoy fleet, which was sent by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, berthed at a military port in Zhanjiang in the southern province of Guangdong.

The fleet, comprising a landing ship, a frigate and a supply ship, as well as three helicopters and 800 crew, departed on Aug. 1, 2014 for escort missions in the Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea and Somali waters.

According to the Navy, the fleet successfully escorted 135 domestic and foreign ships, including China's Yuanwang-3 moon-probe surveying vessel.

The fleet also conducted exchanges with European Union, NATO and other international counterparts, and held anti-piracy and humanitarian aid drills with navies from the United States, France and Greece, which helped the PLA navy accumulate blue water experience and enhance military capacity.

The fleet also visited five nations, including Britain, Germany and the Netherlands.

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