US, China Begin Counter-Piracy Exercise 15

The U.S. Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) and ships from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (Navy) PLA(N) commenced a bilateral counter-piracy exercise, U.S.-China Counter-Piracy Exercise 15, in the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa, Dec 11.

Aiming to promote partnership, strength and presence, the exercise includes combined visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) operations, communication exchanges, and various other aspects of naval operations.

This exercise represents a long-standing united front toward counter-piracy operations shared by these two world powers.

Capt. Doug Stuffle, commander, U.S. Navy Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1, said:

The exercise allows us to address our common regional and global interest.

It helps both nations pursue a healthy, stable, reliable and continuous bilateral relationship.

Approximately 700 personnel from the U.S. and China navies will participate in the exercise, and it gives Sterett Sailors the opportunity to engage in a shared mission with other surface platforms.

Cmdr. Theodore Nunamaker, Sterett commanding officer, added:

Piracy is a long-standing problem, worldwide.

It has long been recognized as a problem that requires an international-cooperative solution. Certainly the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR [area of responsibility] is one of the focused points for that effort. Modern-day piracy has a far-reaching economic impact. Although much of the world’s population will never encounter piracy, it has an impact on everyone, by increasing the cost of goods that are being shipped from place to place.

Sterett is deployed as part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group and is supporting Operation Inherent Resolve conducting maritime security operations, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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Press release, Image: US Navy