ZHANJIANG --- Chinese and Thai naval ships participating in the China-Thai joint naval drill, code-named Blue Commando-2019, left a military port in Zhanjiang, south China’s Guangdong Province on Monday. This marks the successful completion of the port-based training phase of the joint drill and the beginning of the maritime training phase.
The guided-missile frigate Yueyang (Hull 575) of the Chinese Navy took the lead in unmooring at around 9 a.m. Ships from both countries successively departed from the dock thereafter and set sail to the designated sea area in a joint formation.
Zhang Boshuo, Chinese commander of the joint command center and deputy director of the Political Work Department of the navy under the PLA Southern Theater Command, said that the joint drill focused more on actual combat. Each training subject during the maritime exercise phase would be initiated according to the contingency scenario. Difficult and risky subjects such as live-firing at sea and amphibious assault landing operations will also be conducted for the first time, Zhang added.
In the previous port-based training phase, China and Thailand have repeatedly organized exchanges on operation scheme and tactical table-top development, which have improved command decision-making ability and enhanced coordination, and laid a solid foundation for the smooth implementation in the maritime training phase.
The formation arrived at the designated sea area at around 11 a.m. and both sides took turns to organize communication exercises. After the drill, the formation began to steam to the next sea area and organized replenishment-at-sea.
In the next three days, the participating ships will conduct more than 10 training subjects including sea encounters and screen formations, integrated formation defense, joint search and rescue, sea area control and target recognition for maritime awareness.