The 14th escort taskforce of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) organized its first anti-piracy training participated by a group of helicopters, a special operation detachment and three warships on the morning of Feb 26, 2013, local time, while sailing in the Indian Ocean on the voyage to the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast to fulfill escort missions there.
The training highlighted coordination between the warships and helicopters as well as the special operation members during the anti-piracy operation.
At 10:00, the "Harbin" guided missile destroyer reported that several suspicious small speedboats were spot approaching the taskforce 6 nautical miles away from the port side of the frigate. The taskforce commander immediately gave the order to initiate the Level-1 anti-piracy deployment. The "Mianyang" guided missile frigate and the "Weishan Lake" supply ship of the escort taskforce received at the same time the order to quickly adjust formation and draw close to the "Harbin" warship to coordinate the "Harbin" warship in fighting against the "pirate boats".
The special operation members on the "Harbin" warship entered into battle positions in seconds. The ship-based helicopters carrying several special operation members took off immediately for a close reconnaissance of the "suspicious boats". The "Harbin" warship beefed up observation alert at the same time and moved towards the left side of the taskforce formation to prepare for driving the "pirates" away.
During the training lasting two-plus hours, the taskforce conducted the drill on multiple subjects including rapid deployment of tactical units, reconnaissance on small targets at sea, small arms shooting, special operation members climbing onto and searching merchant ships and changing of ship formations in coordinated training.
According the commanding officer of the taskforce, the coordinated training was designed to make the officers and men improve their capabilities in quick reaction and dealing with emergencies. The coordination between the helicopter group and the special operation detachment and other combat units of the escort warships has also been further enhanced.
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