On Friday 22 November 2013 a delegation from EU Naval Force’s flagship HNLMS Johan de Witt visited the Chinese Force Commander and his staff on board the Chinese flagship CNS Jing Gang Shan in the Gulf of Aden. The visit was an opportunity to discuss counter piracy operations.
The Royal Netherlands Navy Landing Platform Dock (LPD), HNLMS Johan de Witt rendezvoused with the Chinese warship in the Gulf of Aden, where both flagships are currently conducting counter piracy operations. The delegation from HNLMS Johan de Witt included the EU NAVFOR Task Force Commander, Commodore Peter Lenselink, the Commanding Officer of HNLMS Johan de Witt, Captain Frank Foreman, and Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Poetiray who is the Commander of the Embarked Forces. They were welcomed on board the Chinese flagship by Rear Admiral Jiang Zhonghua (Commander Task Group 999) and Captain Liu Zhonghu, the Commanding Officer of the brand new Chinese warship, which was commissioned into service in 2011.
During the visit, both sides exchanged experiences on counter piracy operations.
They also highlighted the good maritime cooperation between EU Naval Force and the Chinese Navy. At the meeting it was confirmed that the Chinese Task Group would provide an escort to a World Food Programme ship carrying aid to Somalia, in the coming week.
Speaking about his visit to the Chinese flagship, Commodore Peter Lenselink said “The cooperation with the Chinese Navy is outstanding and underlines the importance they give to safe and free trade at sea.”
The Commanding Officer of HNLMS Johan de Witt, Captain Frank Foreman, recognized the similarities between both ships “The Chinese LPD has similar tasks and capabilities as HNLMS Johan de Witt. The large dock is particularly impressive and the ship’s company was very motivated and professional. I found the visit extremely informative and interesting.”
Press Release, November 25, 2013; Image: EU NAVFOR