European and Chinese counter-piracy task group commanders met in the Gulf of Aden during their regular patrols.
The force commander of the European Union’s operation Atalanta, Spanish Navy Rear Admiral Rafael Fernández-Pintado Muñoz-Rojas, welcomed Rear Admiral Zhao Jicheng, commander of the Chinese Escort Task Group.
The two commanders met aboard the Spanish landing platform dock ESPS Galicia, the current flagship of the EU task force.
Sailors from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy often greet EU Naval Force sailors in the Gulf of Aden during their counter-piracy patrols and the PLA Navy has helped to protect World Food Programme (WFP) vessels as they transit close to the Somali coast to deliver aid to Somali ports.
After being briefed on the EU’s efforts to ensure Somali-based pirates remain suppressed, Rear Admiral Jicheng and his delegation were given a tour of the Spanish warship and introduced to members of the ship’s company and Force HQ staff.