Thursday, May 6, 2010

Prior to antipiracy mission, marines practiced hostage rescue

Pacific Fleet (PF) marines who along with the crew of large ASW ship Marshal Shaposhnikov freed Russian tanker Moscow University captured by pirates had passed thorough special training in Vladivostok before anti-piracy mission off Somalia, reported RIA Novosti citing Capt 1 rank Roman Martov, director of PF Press Service.

Tanker Moscow University having 23 Russian crewmembers and 86,000 tons of oil on board was hijacked Wednesday morning at the eastern part of the Gulf of Aden. The ship was sailing from the Red Sea to China. Ship release operation was carried out by marines and the crew of large ASW ship Marshal Shaposhnikov. As a result, nobody suffered among Russians; pirates were captured.

"There is PF marine unit on board Marshal Shaposhnikov. Before cruise to the Gulf of Aden, marines had passed a special training course on rescue of civil ship captured by pirates. All drills were conducted under special program in live operational conditions", pointed out the interviewee.

According to him, all PF marines currently on mission in the Gulf of Aden are experienced soldiers, masterfully firing various types of weapons, well-versed in hand-to-hand combat and special warfare.

Many of them repeatedly took part in international antipiracy missions within PF task units.

The fourth PF task unit consisting of large antisubmarine warfare ship Marshal Shaposhnikov, tanker Pechenga and sea-going salvage tug MB-37 on March 29 arrived from Vladivostok to participate in international antipiracy mission.

There are two deck-based helicopters on board Marshal Shaposhnikov; they constantly conduct air reconnaissance.........................Source

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