Monday, November 2, 2009

U.S. Admiral Honored by Chinese Invitation

In the Gulf of Aden, Rear Admiral Scott Sanders, commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, visited Chinese Rear Admiral Wang Zhiguo, the commander of TF-529, Chinese 3rd Flotilla off Somalia, to discuss ongoing cooperation in counter-piracy efforts on November 1, 2009.

As guests, Sanders and coalition members of the CTF 151 staff representing four countries boarded the Chinese counter-piracy flagship Zhou Shan.

During the meeting with Wang on Zhou Shan warship, Sanders said, “We were honored to receive Admiral Wang’s invitation. As a partner in maritime security, we have worked with China on a tactical level in order to prevent piracy and maritime criminal activity off the coast of Somalia. Having the opportunity to sit down and share views on counter-piracy with Adm. Wang was an invaluable experience. The cooperation between our nations continues to pay big dividends.”

One of the missions of CTF 151 is to synchronize counter-piracy operations with more than 30 nations that have deployed naval forces off the coast of Somalia. The task force conducts anti-piracy operations to actively deter, disrupt and suppress piracy to protect global maritime security for all nations.

In meeting with Wang, Sanders also said, “I think our visit today highlights the fact that piracy is an international problem that requires an international answer, but the ultimate solution lies on land. It is clear that China is a reliable partner and that our efforts are mutually beneficial.”

CTF 151 operates as part of the Combined Maritime Forces, which is a coalition that conducts Maritime Security Operations in the Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea to help provide security and stability in these sea areas.

This visit happened just before the 3rd Chinese flotilla is going to return to China. Upon Chinese media, to relieve the 3rd Chinese flotilla in the Gulf of Aden, the 4th flotilla of Chinese navy set out from China on Oct. 30, 2009. It consists of the missile frigate Ma An Shan, the missile frigate Wen Zhou, and the supply ship Qian Dao Hu.