By Chen Xing and Wang Yuanfang
The 44th and 45th Chinese naval escort taskforces hold a farewell ceremony in the Gulf of Aden. （Photo by Wang Yuanfang）
BEIJING, Oct. 7 -- The 44th and 45th Chinese naval escort taskforces conducted a farewell ceremony in the western waters of the Gulf of Aden after completing joint escort and mission handover on October 2, local time.
Before the ceremony, the two escort taskforces conducted a joint escort to further familiarize themselves with the organization procedures and emergency handling of escort operations. After the ceremony, the 44th escort taskforce is scheduled to carry out visits and joint exercises, while the 45th escort taskforce, consisting of the guided-missile destroyer Urumqi, the guided-missile frigate Linyi, and the comprehensive supply ship Dongpinghu, takes on the escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia.
The 44th Chinese naval escort taskforce has efficiently completed escort tasks for 33 domestic and foreign ships in 28 batches since it began its escort mission. The 45th escort taskforce set sail from Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province, on September 12, and conducted such training drills as underway replenishment, helicopter flight inspection, and formation maneuvers during its voyage to further enhance the operational capabilities.
As of now, Chinese naval escort taskforces have successfully completed escort tasks for over 7,100 Chinese and foreign merchant ships in more than 1,500 batches.