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Another Pacific Fleet task force sailed off to fight piracy

Another Pacific Fleet task force sailed off to fight piracy 17.11.2010
Text: RIA Novosti
Photo: Admiral Vinogradov. vl.ru
The fifth Pacific Fleet (PF) task force left Vladivostok today and set a course for the Gulf of Aden to participate in the UN anti-piracy mission; the farewell ceremony was accompanied with bravura music and warm-hearted valedictories, reports RIA Novosti.

The task force consists of large ASW ship Admiral Vinogradov, sea-going salvage tug, and tanker Pechenga. There are two deck-based helicopters and PF marine units on board the task force's ships.

Sailors and "black berets" not involved in the watch service paraded along the quay prior to sailing off. PF Deputy Commander RADM Alexander Ryabukhin traditionally wished them fair seas, following wind, and to be worthy representatives of St. Andrew's flag in the Indian Ocean.

In autumn 2008 large ASW ship Admiral Vinogradov was the first PF ship attended the anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden, reported RIA Novosti citing Capt 1 rank Roman Martov. Now, the ship will be stationed there again to escort merchant convoys and protect them from pirates.

"This cruise was preceded by long and thorough preparation. Marines have passed a long-term special training which is based on experience acquired by previous PF "black berets" units in the Gulf of Aden. All marines have mastered hand-to-hand fighting, knife-throwing, and shooting", said the interviewee.

He reminded that on May 6, 2010 Pacific Fleet marines of the fourth task force and the crew of large ASW ship Marshal Shaposhnikov released Liberian-flagged tanker Moscow University captured by pirates; there were 23 Russian crewmen on board. Carrying 86,000 tons of oil, the tanker sailed from the Red Sea to China. Nobody suffered during the crew-release operation; ten pirates were arrested and one killed.

"Previous four PF task forces have escorted convoys with over 100 commercial vessels from various countries. Pirates failed to capture any of them. PF Command received dozens of grateful letters and telegrams from shipmasters and shipowners. Those Pacific mariners who distinguished themselves in anti-piracy activities were decorated with governmental awards", Martov said.

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