Monday, June 28, 2010

Russian naval task force returning to homeport in Vladivostok

Udaloy-class guided-missile destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov

VLADIVOSTOK, June 25 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Pacific Fleet's task force, led by the Udaloy-class guided-missile destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, is arriving at its home base in the Russian Far Eastern city of Vladivostok on Friday, the fleet said.
The naval task force accomplished its anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden on June 5. Russia is expected to resume the mission near Somalia in early July.
"The sailors perfectly fulfilled the Russian Navy command's task to protect peaceful vessel caravans from attacks by pirates in the Gulf of Aden," Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. 1st Rank Roman Martov said.

Navy commandos from the Marshal Shaposhnikov freed the Russian Moscow University tanker during a 22-minute operation on May 6. Ten attackers were detained and one was killed. None of the crew members was injured.

The Marshal Shaposhnikov will be replaced by the Admiral Levchenko, currently en route to the Mediterranean and expected to arrive in the region in early July.

The task force comprising the Marshal Shaposhnikov, the MB-37 salvage tug and the Pechenga tanker arrived in the Gulf of Aden on March 29 and escorted 11 convoys totaling over 100 commercial vessels from different countries.

The Russian Navy has maintained a presence off the Horn of Africa with warships operating on a rotation basis. Russia joined international anti-piracy efforts off the Somali coast in October 2008.

The task force was the fourth group of warships from the Russian Pacific Fleet engaged in the anti-piracy mission off Somalia, with the previous three task forces led by the Admiral Vinogradov, Admiral Panteleyev and the Admiral Tributs destroyers. The Northern and Baltic fleets have also contributed to the mission.

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