23rd Chinese naval escort taskforce starts first escort mission

China Military Online
Zhang Tao

GULF OF ADEN, May 4 (ChinaMil) -- The 23rd Chinese naval escort taskforce started to provide escort independently for merchant ships in Gulf of Aden on the morning of May 3, local time. It was also the 929th escort mission performed by the Chinese naval escort fleets.

The guided-missile frigate Xiangtan and the comprehensive supply ship Chaohu of the taskforce reached the rendezvous area at 8:30 in the morning. Before departure, a ship-borne helicopter took off from the guided-missile frigate Xiangtan to carry out air patrol during the escort operation. At 9:00 am, the two Chinese warships and escorted merchant ships set sail and navigated to the sea area where the escort will be completed.

According to sources, the two merchant ships under protection are Panamanian oil tanker "Tsurusaki" and Liberian tanker "Marina". The escort fleet is expected to arrive in the destination waters at around 11:00 am on May 5, local time.

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