PEARL HARBOR - The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) midshipmen training vessel Zheng He (Type 679, Hull 81) arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Oct. 12 and is expected to stay until Oct. 16.
As part of a planned series of military-to-military exchanges between the two nations, Zheng He will be hosted by the guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65). Chinese and U.S. naval officers will conduct dialogues to build confidence and mutual understanding.
According to Capt. Eric Weilenman, chief of staff of Naval Surface Group, Middle Pacific, the visit is a good chance for both navies’ Sailors to interact with one another.
“It’s a great opportunity for a mil-to-mil exchange, to develop trust, build confidence in each other’s abilities, a great opportunity for the midshipmen to experience Hawaii and to interact with the host ship Sailors. They’ve planned soccer games, tug-of-war, basketball games -- basically an opportunity to interact with our Sailors.”
According to Capt. Kevin Brand, commanding officer of USS Chosin, during the ship’s visit, U.S. and Chinese Sailors plan to engage in deckplate level events, giving both navies the opportunity to exchange professional knowledge.
“While the Zheng He is here, we’ll be doing some naval planning exercises on board. We’re going to do a search and rescue planning event -- a table-top exercise -- to show them how we go about planning a search and rescue. We’ll also do a recovery exercise where we’ll actually put a man in the water to show them how we would recover on board the ship and do some medical care. In addition to that, we’re also going to do a damage control exercise, where we’re going to share some of our best practices. We’ll show them our equipment and how it works and hopefully learn from them at the same time.”
The U.S. Navy is committed to continued engagement to improve mutual understanding, build trust, enhance transparency, and reduce the risk of misperceptions and miscalculations. Military-to-military engagement is an important tool to build trust, encourage multilateral cooperation, enhance transparency and mitigate risk.