BEIJING, September 10 (ChinaMil) -- The warships "Haikou", "Yueyang" and "Qiandaohu", which participated in the "Pacific Rim-2014" military exercise and performed the visiting tasks, sailed back to a naval port in Sanya on September 3, 2014 after 87 days and nights of voyage which covered 19,271 sea miles.
What has the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army experienced and what are the gains from its first participation in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercise? Yan Peng, captain of the "Haikou" warship, and Cui Yonggang, captain of the "Yueyang" warship, shared their experiences in the RIMPAC in an exclusive interview shortly after their arrival in Sanya.
"I am honored to command our home-made new type frigate to participate in the RIMPAC military exercise."
Reporter: As officers participating in the exercise, what do you think of the "Pacific Rim-2014" military exercise?
Yan Peng: The RIMPAC is the largest multilateral joint naval exercise in the world, as well as a big stage where the navies of various countries compete with each other. In each drill subject, the navies of various countries are faced with the test and competition on their equipment performance, and on the personnel's skills and tactics.
In the boarding inspection, for example, the maneuverability and carrying capacity of assault boats, manual manipulation skills, personal equipment and tactical actions of boarding units can reflect the equipment development and personnel training level of a country's navy from different perspectives.
On the other hand, the RIMPAC military exercise is also a party where the navies of various countries deepened their friendship. In the exchange activities, the naval officers and men from each participating country, who all love oceans and navies, shared the joys and sorrows of their life afloat.
Cui Yonggang: 22 countries sent their navies to participate in the RIMPAC military exercise which lasting for about 40 days, during which joint drills covering 7 subjects and 15 items, such as tactical maneuvering and maritime search and rescue, were successively completed. As the captain of the "Yueyang" warship, I am honored to command our home-made new-type frigate to participate in the exercise. Meanwhile, it is also an important opportunity for us to learn about foreign navies at a close distance.
"The Chinese Navy is very professional."
Reporter: How do you evaluate the performance of the Chinese Navy in this military exercise?
Cui Yonggang: In a drill subject, the combined taskforce 175 to which our participating taskforce is affiliated had organized shooting at the floating targets for 5 times.
The participating warships lined up, and fired in turn. Each shell fired by each ship was clearly seen. And the results were clear at a glance.
In the main gun competition, 20 main battle warships from China, the U.S., Republic of Korea (ROK), Canada, Singapore, Norway, etc. fired in turn. Though the fire effects were not directly compared, the competition did test the combat capability of each country's warships.
The firing time for each warship was half an hour. The "Haikou" warship was the second while the "Yueyang" warship was the third to fire with the "Port Royal" cruiser of the U.S. navy coming first.
It was the first time for the two Chinese warships to participate in such competition, but they gave play to their equipment performance, completed the competition, and won favorable comments from the commander of the combined taskforce.
Yan Peng: At the exercise summing-up meeting, Captain Eric Willeman, captain of the "Port Royal" warship of the U.S. Navy, said to me: "This is the first time for me to conduct training jointly with the Chinese Navy. The Chinese Navy is very professional and responded quickly and accurately in each drill subject. As far as my current observation is concerned, the Chinese Navy is a very professional navy."
Such a comment, which is made by a senior officer who has served in the U.S. Navy for 26 years, participated in a number of wars, and served successively as the cruiser first officer and destroyer captain, made me very proud.
"We are more confident in ourselves."
Reporter: In addition to the exercise itself, what else of the RIMPAC has impressed you?
Yan Peng: During the RIMPAC 2014 military exercise, the organizer's quick and efficient actions are impressive.
For example, 37 representatives delivered speeches, souvenirs were exchanged and other activities were carried out at the exercise summing-up meeting, but the meeting only lasted for 3 hours.
In addition, we can feel the constant perfection and strict enforcement of laws, regulations, systems and standard operating procedures by the European and American traditional sea powers.
I am also deeply impressed by the patriotic education and history education of the U.S. Navy during the exercise. The U.S. has set up the memorial hall for World War II in Hawaii, and holds memorial services for those killed on holidays and festivals to remind people of the history of the World War II.
Cui Yonggang: Two captains have impressed me during the exercise. One is a Norwegian captain who said humorously at the reception, "I have married the navy." From his words I feel the foreign peers' love for the naval cause and their feelings that taking their warships as their homes and the sea as their companion.
The other captain said to me "The ship's glory is the captain's glory, and the ship's mistake is the captain's humiliation," which should be the consensus for all naval captains.
The RIMPAC 2014 military exercise has made us more confident in ourselves. For example, after observing the trainings conducted by France and the U.S., we were able to get unified and collaborated with other troops fast according to international accepted standards, and won unanimous favorable comments from other participating navies in our subsequent trainings. This has reflected our training quality at ordinary times.