UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Central News Agency

2005-06-19 19:02:46

Kaohsiung, June 19 (CNA) The leader of a Republic of China Navy flotilla which returned from a three-month round-the-world voyage Sunday called for the country to throw its support behind the Navy as well as the development of national defense.

    Rear Adm. Fan Pao-hua, who led the flotilla on its 105-day global navigation training mission, said that the voyage was smooth and successful, with morale among the crew being very high, thanks to the support rendered by the nation and the crew's families.

    The Navy's first round-the-world mission not only took members of the ROC Navy to every corner of the Earth, it also wrote a new page in ROC history in sea power and diplomacy, Fan said during a press conference held at the Tsuoying naval base in southern Taiwan to mark the success of the flotilla's mission.

    Navy Commander-in-Chief Adm.Chen Pang-chih officiated at a ceremony earlier in the day to mark the successful commencement of the Navy's round-the-world navigation training.

    According to Fan, the flotilla -- comprised of the French-built Lafayette-class frigate "Kang Ding, " the U.S.-built Perry-class frigate "Wu Yi" and a logistical support vessel, with a 700-strong crew -- departed Tsuoying March 7 and returned to the same naval base early Sunday morning after having sailed over 26,000 nautical miles around the globe.

    Fan reported that the naval vessels cruised three major oceans and four major seas around the globe and made port calls in seven countries which maintain formal diplomatic relations with the ROC, including Panama, Senegal, Kiribatis, Gambia and Palau, adding that the ships also sailed across five channels, capes and canals during the navigation mission.

    The flotilla's voyage, dubbed Taiwan's "warship diplomacy, " set a ROC Navy record in terms of distance traveled, during which the Navy officers and cadets spread the word in ROC allies countries about Taiwan's freedom, democracy and diverse society, Fan noted.

    The Navy has also examined its long-range combat capabilities in several areas, including night-fighting, electronics warfare and logistical operations on the seas, during the mission, according to Fan.

(By Deborah Kuo)


Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list