The town of Albany in Western Australia played host to a unique international visitor on 9 April when the People’s Liberation Army – Navy (PLA-N) vessel Qiandaohu visited.
The Fuchi class replenishment ship had spent more than a month at sea with a Chinese fleet as part of the international search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Joint Task Force (JTF) 658 at Fleet Base West is co-ordinating supporting military forces engaged in the air and sea search.
Captain Brett Sampson, JTF 658’s Deputy Commander, welcomed and visited Qiandaohu’s captain and crew.
“China has invested heavily in the search effort with seven ships and two IL-76 aircraft,” Captain Sampson said. The Chinese Navy’s integration with other military forces is resulting in a significant international search effort.”
Captain Tu said Australia’s actions fully demonstrated Australia’s humanitarian spirit and the friendship that was growing between the two nations.
Qiandaohu took on additional stores and fuel to support the Chinese fleet operating over 2,500 kilometres to the north-west of Albany.
Qiandaohu has a crew of 130 and steams to a speed of 19 knots.
Press Release, April 16, 2014, Image: Australian Navy