Regional welcome for Chinese ship

Published on LCDR Chloe Wootten (author), ABIS Kayla Hayes (photographer)

Location(s): Albany, WA

Topic(s): Operations

Captain Brett Sampson (fourth from left) and Lieutenant Commander Chloe Wootten (far right) from Headquarters Joint Task Force 658 with Senior Captain Dong Yan, Commander of the Chinese Task Force for Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (third from left) and other Chinese officers, in front of People's Liberation Army - Navy ship PLA-N Qiandaohu alongside at Albany, WA. (photo: ABIS Kayla Hayes)
Captain Brett Sampson (fourth from left) and Lieutenant Commander Chloe Wootten (far right) from Headquarters Joint Task Force 658 with Senior Captain Dong Yan, Commander of the Chinese Task Force for Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (third from left) and other Chinese officers, in front of People's Liberation Army - Navy ship PLA-N Qiandaohu alongside at Albany, WA.

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.

Qiandaohu’s Commanding Officer, Captain Tu Jin Hu, and his crew were gracious hosts and excellent ambassadors for China.

“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 2500 kilometres to the north-west of Albany.

Qiandaohu has a crew of 130 and steams to a speed of 19 knots.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20140991.