In a few days, the Philippine Navy contingent to this year’s United States’ hosted Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises will be arriving in Hawaii — marking a major milestone in the history of PN that for the first time it has sent warships to the world’s biggest naval training.
The PN contingent, spearheaded by Fleet Marine Ready Force commander Commodore Toribio Adaci Jr., is composed of BRP Davao del Sur (LD 602) and BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF17), with an embarked AW 109 naval helicopter, with a 700-strong Naval Task Force RIMPAC led by Capt. Alvin Baldovino
In a statement yesterday, Navy spokesman Cdr. Jonathan Zata said the Philippine contingent, along with other navies of participating countries, already passed Johnson Atoll en route to Hawaii where the actual RIMPAC 2018 exercises will be held.
Sailing with the Philippines were Japanese Ship ISE (DDH182); India Navy Ship Sahyadri (F19); United States Ship William P Lawrence (DDG110), and Republic of Singapore Ship Tenacious (71).
“The Navy contingent together with the other navies in the group is expected to arrive in Honolulu, Hawaii in the next few days. The exercise is scheduled to conclude on Aug. 5, 2018,” Zata said in the statement.
“The Philippine Navy’s participation in RIMPAC 2018 through sending contingents and its largest ship, a frigate and modern naval helicopter is another milestone both for the PN and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to build and enhance relationship with other participating navies,” he added.
Zata cited all-out support to the Duterte administration’s AFP Modernization Program, particularly the Navy’s capability upgrade.
Only recently, Duterte approved the P300 billion worth Horizon 2 of the AFP Modernization Program which includes the acquisition of submarines and additional frigates for the Navy, fighter jets for the Air Force and force protection and night fighting capability for the Army.
“With the vigorous support from the government and its stakeholders through the modernization program, the PN now has the capability to send a contingent to RIMPAC 2018, thus further fulfilling its diplomatic role in keeping peace and stability in the region,” he said.
Apart from those participating in the actual RIMPAC exercises, the NTF RIMPAC is further complemented by components from Civil Military Operations (CMO), training, medical, legal and students from different PN education and training schools
RIMPAC 2018 is the second International Defense and Security Engagement (IDSE) participated in by the Philippine Navy this year. The first IDSE was in Indonesia where the PN participated in the Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo 2018.
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