Thursday marked the eighth anniversary of the launch of the Chinese Navy's escortmission at the Gulf of Aden, the body of water to the north of Somalia in the Horn of Africa,an area of frequent pirate activity.
On the same day the PLA Navy finished its 1,000th task by escorting a Singaporeanmerchant ship to the eastern sea area of the Gulf.
Since 2008,25 batches of escort formations, including 78 naval vessels,54 helicopters, andover 21,000 officers and soldiers, have convoyed nearly 6,300 ships from across the worldto destinations safely. Altogether 60 ships that got into difficulty have been assisted.
The Navy has kept its record of 100% security of both the escortees and themselves.
The escort fleets are five times faster today than they were eight years ago in completingan anti-pirate deployment. The time helicopters need to react to an emergency situationhas shrunk to one third of that of 2008. The speed of Special forces deployment has also doubled.
The Navy is not exclusive to the Gulf of Aden area, but is made available whenemergencies occur in other regions. For example, it went to the Mediterranean Sea andescorted 20 batches of Syrian chemical weapons, along with vessels from Russia, Denmark, and Norway.
The PLA has also taken the initiative in offering humanitarian assistance, escorting 10ships from the World Food Program, sending fleets to help locate the missing Malaysianflight of MH 370, and helping to provide fresh water for the people of the Maldives.