Top Photo: A helicopter of the Chinese naval fleet patrols above the Gulf of Aden on Feb. 25 to ensure ships’ safety from pirates.
Bottom Photo: About 50 suspected pirate vessels approach a ship escorted by the Chinese naval fleet in the Gulf of Aden. The vessels harassed the 31 Chinese and foreign ships that the naval fleet was escorting. They were driven out soon after the fleet dispatched vessels and helicopters.
These photos were sent to Navy Times and accompanied by a blunt question: “Will historians look back at this as the first signs of declining U.S. influence worldwide resulting from the shrinking U.S. Navy?”