Russian PF Seventh Task Unit Escorts First Merchant Convoy Through Safety Corridor
Pacific Fleet (PF) seventh task unit participating in anti-piracy campaign in the Gulf of Aden has successfully escorted first merchant convoy through safety corridor and on Jan 22 started to form the next one, PF spokesman Capt 1 rank Roman Martov told RIA Novosti.
The seventh anti-piracy unit consisting of large ASW ship Admiral Tributs, tanker Pechenga, and seagoing rescue tug MB-37 left Vladivostok on Dec 10, 2011 heading for the Indian Ocean. Also, there are marine units and two deck-based helicopters performing air reconnaissance to detect pirate vessels.
The task unit arrived in the Gulf of Aden on Jan 12, and three days later formed the first convoy to be escorted through safety corridor towards the Bab el Mandeb Strait.
“The first convoy consisted of Maltese and Turkish commercial ships. Being covered by Admiral Tributs, they left the Gulf of Aden and then followed own courses to destination ports in the Middle East and Europe. At present, the PF task unit forms the second international convoy to be escorted backward”, specified the interviewee.
According to him, when the first convoy entered the zone patrolled by foreign warships, large ASW ship Admiral Tributs was visited by Commander of NATO Operation Ocean Shield ADM Sinan Azmi Tosun (Turkish Navy). He met with command of Russian anti-piracy unit headed by Capt 1 rank Ildar Akhmerov.
The parties exchanged operational data, analyzed the situation in the Gulf of Aden, and discussed issues of anti-piracy campaign in the region. In addition, the officers talked over the possibility of joint exercises in inspection and detaining of a vessel suspected in piracy activities.
Martov recalled that throughout the international anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden, PF mariners have escorted about 130 merchant ships flying different flags. PF command received dozens telegrams and grateful letters from shipmasters and directors of shipping companies.
Naval Today Staff , January 24, 2012