INS Rana, INS Ranjit Call On Qingdao Port in China
IN Ships Rana and Ranjit under the command of Capt LV Sarat Babu and Captain DM Sudan respectively, visited Qingdao from 12 to 15 Apr 07 during the course of the ships Overseas Deployment (RAJDOOT 01/07) to the North Pacific Region.The ships visit to Qingdao, China coincided with the concurrent visit of INS Mysore, Jyoti and Kuthar under the operational command of Rear Admiral Ravinder Kumar Dhowan, AVSM, YSM to Yokosuka, Japan.On arrival at Qingdao harbour the ships were welcomed by Her Excellency Mrs Nirupama Rao, Ambassadress of India to China, Vice Admiral R P Suthan, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff and Rear Admiral Su Shiliang, Commander North Sea Fleet (NSF) of PLA Navy. A first day postal cover commemorating the first visit of Indian Naval ships to Qingdao was also released on this occasion.During the welcome address Rear Admiral Su Shiliang, Commander North Sea Fleet and H.E. Mrs Nirupama Rao, Ambassadress of India highlighted the strategic significance of Indo-China relations. These views were echoed during the formal interaction between Vice Admiral RP Suthan, Rear Admiral Shu Shiliang and the Commanding Officers of the Indian Naval ships.The Navys' role in the expanding military / diplomatic ties as well as 'Building Bridges of Freindship' between India and China was clearly evident during the ships stay in Qingdao. A reception was hosted for the PLA Navy officers and Defence Attaches of Australia, South Korea, Germany, Brazil, Japan, France and the US on board Rana on 13 Apr.Concurrently the ships were opened for visitors. Prominent amongst those who visited the ship included the small, fledgling yet proud and reassured members of the Indian business community in Qingdao. Additionally, the response of the local populace was overwhelming. The enthusiasm and genuine happiness of these people helped breach the strong language barrier.Further consolidating on the 'Bridges of Friendship' construct, a band concert by the Indian Naval Band was conducted at 'May 4th Square'. The Naval band enthralled the audience, of more than over 2000, in a programme that lasted over two hours. Adulation was readily apparent in enthusiastic crowd participation and requests for encores.The ships departed Qingdao at 0830 hrs on 16 Apr 07 and were led out of harbour by PLAN ship Qingdao. During the passage the ships undertook basic communication and maneuvering exercises. The PASSEX concluded with a steampast by the IN ships wherein IN - PLAN personnel manned respective ship sides.