The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s 31st Naval Escort Task Force returned home to Zhanjiang City of south China’s Guangdong Province on Friday after completing a seven-month deployment.
The 31st Naval Escort Task Force is composed of Type 071 amphibious dock landing ship Kunlunshan (998), Type 054A guided-missile frigate Xuchang (536) and Type 903 comprehensive supply ship Luomahu (964). The ships carried more than 700 naval officers and soldiers and three helicopters, and conducted escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia.
The ships set sail from a port in Zhanjiang on December 9 last year and has since completed 46 humanitarian missions. The frigate, Xuchang, also took part in the multinational naval exercises coded “Peace-19” in February.
During the deployment, the ships sailed the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and crossed nine time zones and four climatic zones, covering nearly 110,000 nautical miles.
Since 2008, the Chinese Navy has sent 31 batches of escort fleets to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters for escort missions, including 100 naval ships, 67 helicopters and over 26,000 naval officers and soldiers.