7 PH Navy ships capable of long-range sailing: Empedrad

MANILA Should the Philippine Navy (PN) get another invitation to send its ships overseas for any training or multi-lateral engagements, it has seven vessels in its fleet capable of sailing long distance.

"We have the capability. We have seven capable ships that can go to China, can go to Russia, can go to Hawaii (United States), so if invited by the Russian Federation (again), we will surely send ships anytime," Navy flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, said during the welcome ceremony for the strategic sealift vessel, BRP Tarlac (LD-601), at Pier 13, Manila South Harbor on Monday.

BRP Tarlac, along with her 300-man contingent, is flushed with success over its first-ever port call in Russia and South Korea early this month.

The ships capable of long-distance patrolling and travel in the PN inventory are the three Gregorio del Pilar-class frigates, two Tarlac-class strategic sealift vessels, and the two Bacolod City-class logistic vessels.

BRP Tarlac and the military personnel aboard her made PN history for their successful port visit to Vladivostok, Russia on Oct. 1-6 and Jeju Island, South Korea on October 12-16.

"The successful overseas mission is a manifestation that the Navy is steadily improving and modernizing. This is another big leap in enhancing the organization's core competency to further improve its readiness to engage in multilateral maritime activities and contribute to preserving regional maritime security," PN spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata earlier said.

During the visit to Russia, the contingent's members participated in several activities that enhanced their relationship with their Russian counterparts. Aside from this, PN personnel also got a chance to tour the Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine "Komsomolskna-Amure 877" and Russian Marine Firing Range.

Russian Marines also conducted a capability demonstration and had their Philippine Marine Corps counterparts run obstacle courses and join pistol-firing exercises.

Meanwhile, the visit to Jeju Island, South Korea strengthened the ties of the PN and its others counterparts through the conduct of different confidence-building activities in line with the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) 2018 hosted by Republic of Korea Navy.

The International Fleet Review held during that time marked the 70th anniversary of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. Empedrad, who was present at the WPNS 2018, said the country will host the same event in 2020. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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