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Chinese Navy Liaison Officer farewelled after successful visit

The Commanding Officer of HMAS SUCCESS, Captain Allison Norris, RAN, exchanges ship's plaques with Commander Lin Wan, a Liaison Officer from the People's Liberation Army-Navy destroyer HAIKOU (DDG-171).
The Commanding Officer of HMAS SUCCESS, Captain Allison Norris, RAN, exchanges ship's plaques with Commander Lin Wan, a Liaison Officer from the People's Liberation Army-Navy destroyer HAIKOU (DDG-171).

Commander Lin Wan of the People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) was farewelled from HMAS Success on 20 April following a successful 12-day placement as part of Operation Southern Indian Ocean.

Commander Wan joined Success as a Liaison Officer for the Chinese vessels searching as part of the international fleet trying to locate Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

During his stay, Commander Wan gained a unique insight into life on board the Royal Australian Navy resupply ship.

“There are many similarities in the working and living environment on Chinese and Australian navy vessels, however there are differences in such things as daily routines,” he said.

“Our day begins at 0600, with work commencing at 0730 and finishing at 1730—following lunch, personnel not keeping watch have a designated rest time of 60-90 minutes so they are refreshed for the afternoon’s work and must turn in for the night at 2130—this difference in routine was quite surprising to members of Success,” he said.

Commander Wan commented it was the first time he had experienced western-style food and hospitality for an extended period.

“The food choices are quite varied and reflect the multicultural nature of Australia,” he said.

“The warmth and openness of the crew was evident from the moment I arrived—this has helped me to fit in and do my work whilst onboard,” Commander Wan said.

The Commanding Officer of Success, Captain Allison Norris, RAN, said the opportunity to closely coordinate search efforts with one of Australia’s international partners was valuable.

“It has been a pleasure having Commander Wan as our guest during this phase of what has been a very challenging search and recovery mission—his insight has given us a greater understanding of one of our key partners and has contributed to a cooperative effort in this important endeavour,” she said.

Success was the first ship tasked to find evidence of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean search area when she sailed from Fremantle on March 19 and has since cooperated with ships from Australia, China, Malaysia, United Kingdom and the United States.