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30 NOV 2015
GULF OF ADEN – The Danish Navy vessel HDMS ABSALON and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy guided-missile LIUZHOU took part in a mutual training session in the Gulf of Aden, during the week of 23 – 27 November 2015, keeping collaboration and partnership as their main focal point.
The sea training was set in motion by the Chinese boarding team fast roping onto the ABSALON helicopter deck followed by the Danish special boat team launching its Rigid Hull Inflated Boat carrying a platoon of the Danish Navy’s Special Forces. The team promptly headed for the Chinese frigate where the Chinese Special Forces awaited their arrival. Once the Chinese ship was reached each member of the Danish team climbed onboard by means of a small stepladder stretching from the helicopter deck to sea level.
On the helicopter deck the Danish Special Forces were welcomed by their Chinese counterparts. The training included combined close quarter combat training in sections of the Chinese ship. With the help of a translator and a range of hand signals the Danish and Chinese Special Forces made their way from the helicopter deck towards the bridge of the Chinese frigate. At the bridge both teams were greeted by the Commanding Officer of LIUZHOU, who took the time to address the Danish Special Forces and call attention to the unique event. Further close quarter combat training followed before both teams arrived on the helicopter deck and parted ways with an improved understanding of each team’s collective and individual strengths.
With the Special Forces portion of the training complete both ships took the opportunity to conduct a pair of replenishment-at-sea approaches. Side-by-side the two ships could easily simulate the complicated procedure of refuelling whilst cruising – a vital technique to master when operating at sea for a prolonged period of time.
The day finished with the Commanding Officer of ABSALON,CDR Per Moll Petersen, being transferred by helicopter to LIUZHOU joined by two officers and five enlisted crew members from the Danish vessel. On completion of the visit CO ABSALON said of the day’s talks and combined sea training: “The opportunity to train and liaise with independent deployers in the region – especially the Chinese – is most welcome. Today’s exercise has shown that even more advanced boarding serials and helicopter operations can be part of this type of exercise environment. This only strengthens interoperability and mutual understanding among operators as well as gaining knowledge of each other capabilities within the counter-piracy community”.
L. J. De Rothschild