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    Chinese ships depart Mayport following first visit to East Coast

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The People's Liberation Army (Navy) (PLA(N)) ships Jinan (DDG 152), Yiyang (FFG 548) and Qindaohu (AOR 886) departed Naval Station Mayport after a four-day goodwill port visit, Nov. 7.

    The three vessels are on an around-the-world deployment and the port call marks the first time a Chinese Navy ship has visited the east coast of the U.S.

    During the visit, PLA(N) sailors toured USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) and USS Vicksburg (CG 69), took part in Morale, Welfare and Recreation tours that included Disney World, St. Augustine and visits to shopping malls, and competed in sporting events with U.S. Sailors.

    “We had a chance to see each other’s ships, and see how things work on their side,” said Capt. Dana Gordon, commanding officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) which served as host ship. “They’re a navy too, so there’s a lot of commonality with them.”

    The port visit provided an excellent opportunity for U.S. Sailors to personally interact with their PLA(N) counterparts and help build trust and mutual understanding between the navies.

    In remarks to the leadership of Task Force 1-5-2, Rear Adm. Mary Jackson, Commander, Navy Region Southeast reflected on this trust and understanding.

    “Our heritage is quite different, but we share a common bond as mariners,” said Jackson. “Life at sea is challenging and sometimes difficult to explain, but for us together, the sea is common ground.”

    Foreign navy ships routinely conduct port visits to Mayport. Engagements like this demonstrate a continuous navy-to-navy bilateral relationship between the U.S. and China.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.07.2015
    Date Posted: 11.07.2015 11:19
    Story ID: 181285
    Location: JACKSONVILLE, FL, US 

    Web Views: 189
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