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Replacement for Korean anti-piracy unit to start mission off Somalia

All Headlines 11:34 December 28, 2010

SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Yonhap) -- A fresh batch of some 300 troops and a South Korean destroyer are due to begin their mission this week to patrol pirate-infested waters off Somalia, military officials said Tuesday.

The arrival of the 4,500-ton Choi Young in the Gulf of Aden marked the sixth replacement of the Cheonghae unit since its deployment early last year under a U.S.-led multinational campaign, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.

The destroyer will officially start its mission on Wednesday and replace the Wang Geon, which is expected to return home in mid-January, the JCS said.

Navy Capt. Cho Young-joo, commander of the Cheonghae unit, said in the statement that his unit is "fully prepared to deal with all possible situations and successfully carry out the mission."

The Cheonghae unit, named after a 9th century Korean naval base, consists of a destroyer, a Lynx helicopter and special maritime forces.

The unit is tasked with protecting South Korean vessels off the Somali coast and providing support to ships of other nations in nearby waters.


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