The Iranian Navy’s 28th flotilla has returned home following a 76-day mission in the high seas, says Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari.
The flotilla – comprising Alborz destroyer, Bandar Abbas auxiliary ship, super-heavy Younes submarine and a Bell 212 Twin Huey helicopter – arrived at the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas, located 1,563 kilometers (971 miles) south of Tehran, on Thursday after accomplishing its missions in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the northern tip of the Indian Ocean.
The naval fleet ensured maritime security for more than 577 Iranian and foreign merchant vessels and oil tankers, secured the shipping lanes of Iranian vessels in international waters, thwarted pirate attacks on foreign ships and conveyed a message of peace and friendship to the countries on its path during the voyage.said the Navy commander.
This comes as the Navy’s 29th fleet has already headed to the Atlantic Ocean in line with Iran’s policy to safeguard naval routes for its vessels.
The flotilla, which comprises Kharg helicopter carrier and Sabalan destroyer, left Bandar Abbas on January 22 on the Navy’s first-ever mission in the Atlantic Ocean.
Sayyari had previously said the 29th flotilla is sent on a mission to provide the safety of Iran’s shipping lines in international waters and to offer training to new recruits.
He added that Iran is among the important countries that safeguard naval routes for vessels in the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden and Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
In recent years, Iran’s Navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts to combat piracy, the Iranian Navy has also been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 to safeguard the vessels involved in maritime trade, especially the ships and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.