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Why Is A Chinese Military Helicopter Landing On A US Navy Ship? (Video)

Chinese helo landing on Sterett

It might be a bit unsettling to watch a Chinese military helicopter land on a U.S. Navy ship - the San Diego-based USS Sterett to be exact. But it's all part of a planned counter-piracy exercise taking place in the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa.

(The video up top shows a Chinese Harbin Z-9E helicopter practicing its landing techniques aboard the Sterett.)

As the Navy describes "U.S.-China Counter-Piracy Exercise 15":

"This exercise represents a long-standing united front toward counter-piracy operations shared by these two world powers."

Cmdr. Theodore Nunamaker, Sterett commanding officer, further explained why it benefits rival nations to come together for anti-piracy exercises:

"Modern-day piracy has a far-reaching economic impact. Although much of the world's population will never encounter piracy, it has an impact on everyone, by increasing the cost of goods that are being shipped from place to place."

During U.S.-China Counter-Piracy Exercise 15, roughly 700 personnel from both countries practiced "visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) operations" and communications exchanges.

The Sterett is currently deployed as part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, which departed homeport Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado in August for a nine-month deployment to the the Navy's 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility, which includes the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf.

The strike group consists of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, along with USS Bunker Hill, USS Gridley, USS Dewey, (and, of course, the USS Sterett).

The nine fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 17 are also part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group.

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