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Defense News

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(Military News Agency reporter, Xu Zhen-Wei, Kaohsiung, June 6th) After 89 days and near 20 thousand nautical miles, the 700 officers, soldiers and students of the Navy Friendship Voyage and Training Detachment were warmly received by the military representatives and their own relatives as they return to their homeland, marking the smooth completion of another mission.

At 9 am, the Kang Ding Class frigates that were incorporated into the Friendship Detachment, led by the tow-barges, arrived in the port first. After which, the Cheng Kung Class frigates and Panshi Fast Combat Support Ships also arrived in the midst of the warm welcome and cheering. The docking operations are completed in order, officially marking a full stop to the friendship voyage training for this year.

After embarking on March 10th, the Friendship Voyage Detachment visited our diplomatic partners, the Marshall Islands, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama in respective order. Wherever they went, they were warmly received by the government and military heads, the locals and overseas Chinese. This year marks the 6th time the training voyage is conducted across the Pacific Ocean since the Detachment first visited Central America in 2001. Besides engaging in military and diplomatic exchanges, the detachment also successfully completed the missions of promoting friendship, visiting overseas Chinese, allowing the officers and soldiers to understand the local culture and practices of our allied nations and broadening their horizon, so it is also a training mission that also offers knowledge enrichment.

Since the implementation of the Friendship Voyage Training by the Navy in 1966, the training voyage has become an annual routine. Having being implemented for half a century, besides developing the combat capability of the frigate officers and soldiers on far voyages, promoting friendship and visiting overseas Chinese, the training also allows the would-be graduates of the Navy Academy and Fu Hsing Kang College, National Defense University to verify the theories and practices they have learned over the 4 years and prepare for their graduation and military appointment.

This year, the detachment is comprised of the Panshi Fast Combat Support Ships, Cheng Kung Class frigates, Kang Ding Class frigates, Navy Band, Marine Boxing Team, and 2016 graduate students of the Navy Academy and Fu Hsing Kang College, National Defense University, as well as the maintenance team, and underwater operation team.