EU NAVFOR personnel joined the Chinese PLA(N) (Peoples Liberation Army) Navy for the first combined exercise at China’s new military base in Djibouti.
The crew of ITS Federico Martinengo and members of the Chinese PLA(N) based in Djibouti conducted a medical evacuation exercise after EUNAVFOR personnel cross-decked with Chinese warships earlier this year.
The extended cooperation followed on from the visit of Major General Stickland, EU NAVFOR’s Operational Commander to the Chinese PLA(N) base in Djibouti on August 8 where he held discussions on how to continue and improve the ongoing counter-piracy efforts off the coast of Somalia.
In their initial planning phase, they established communication methods, agreed operating parameters and defined the command and control structure for the exercise. Four days later, military medical personnel from the Chinese PLA(N) boarded an Italian helicopter to tend to several “casualties” on board ITS Federico Martinengo. During the exercise, one crew member was evacuated by helicopter back to the land-based medical facility within the Chinese PLA(N) compound.
Rear Admiral Alfonso Perez De Nanclares, EU NAVFOR’s Force Commander congratulated Commander Andrea Quondamatteo, commanding officer of ITS Federico Martinengo on such a successful exercise. The Rear Admiral went onto say; “This excellent interaction leaves me and the Operation Commander in no doubt that with these results we will be able to prepare further exercises which will consolidate the excellent relationship that has been built up with our Chinese counterparts”.