By Liang Lihu, Xue Fei, Liu Zaiyao and Xie Jinghao
QINGDAO, Mar. 8 -- The 36th escort taskforce of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy returned to Qingdao on March 5 after successfully completing the escort missions in the Gulf of Aden, multinational naval exercise “Peace-21” and China-Singapore joint naval drill. A welcome ceremony was held at a military harbor in Qingdao by the navy of the PLA Northern Theater Command.
The 36th escort taskforce is comprised of the guided-missile destroyer Guiyang (Hull 119), the missile frigate Zaozhuang (Hull 542), and the comprehensive supply ship Dongpinghu (Hull 960), with dozens of special operations soldiers and two ship-borne helicopters on board.
The taskforce set sail from Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province on September 3, 2020, taking 184 days with a total voyage of more than 110,000 nautical miles. It completed 38 escort missions for 52 Chinese and international ships and successfully conducted multinational naval exercise “Peace-21” and China-Singapore joint naval drill, which have effectively ensured the security of strategic maritime channels of China and demonstrated a good image of the Chinese military, winning wide acclaim from the international community.
During the missions, the taskforce did not rest and replenish at any port in consideration of the epidemic prevention and control, which sets a new record for the longest continuous maritime navigation time among PLA naval fleets.