The ocean-going training taskforce with the South China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy carried out an anti-piracy drill under realistic conditions in the Indian Ocean on May 15 to enhance their emergency response capacity and capability to perform diverse tasks in distant oceans.
According to the scenario of the drill, the convoy simulated by the comprehensive supply ship Honghu was harassed by several suspected pirate vessels. The fleet consisting of the guided-missile destroyer Hefei, Lanzhou and guided-missile frigate Sanya expelled pirate ships and provided escort for the transportation convoy.
The exercise started at 9:00 am and the signalman of the Lanzhou warship used Mandarin and English to warn the suspected pirate ships.
Suspected pirate vessels ignored the warning and continued approaching the convoy. Shipboard helicopters carrying commandos took off quickly from the destroyer Hefei and Lanzhou and gave warning shots to the suspected pirate vessels. Secondary guns on the destroyer Lanzhou simulated firing at the suspected pirate ships to block their advance.
“It is the special power given to naval vessels by international laws and also a common practice of the world’s navies to combat piracy,” said Hu Weihua, who is a commanding officer of the Lanzhou ship, “Such routine training in open waters is of great significance in improving operational command capabilities of commanders at all levels, enhancing our fleet’s capability of properly dealing with complex situations in accordance with laws as well as the PLA Navy’s capability of performing diverse military operations in open seas.”
Before the taskforce entered the Indian Ocean through the Sunda Strait, it had conducted a training exercise on ship and submarine confrontation under the condition of air raid threats, performed patrol in waters near the Nanshan Islands and staged offensive and defensive drill with garrison troops in the Nanshan Islands.