MANILA Unity and collaboration are needed in addressing calamities and other disasters, Philippine Navy (PN) Flag-Officer-In-Command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said Thursday.
Sending one contingent to represent the Philippine Navy is a strong statement that we are one with the community of maritime nations that believe in unity and collaboration, especially in addressing mutual concerns, such as calamities that may affect any nation any time, Empedrad said as he welcomed the BRP Dagupan City (LC-551) and her 200-man contingent who participated in the first-ever ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise (ACMEX) 2018, held in Zhanjiang, China last Oct. 21-28.
Also present during the arrival ceremony, which took place at the Commodore Divino Pier, Naval Station Jose Andrada, Manila, were Navy Vice Commander, Rear Admiral Jude Ong; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan; Philippine Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Danilo Rodelas; Fleet Marine Ready Force Commander, Commodore Toribio Adaci; Defense Armed Forces Attache of China, Col. Sheng Dazhi; and other senior Navy leaders.
The ACMEX 2018, hosted by the Republic of Singapore Navy and the China People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), aimed to promote regional cooperation among ASEAN member states navies and PLAN, focusing on maritime safety and search-and-rescue at sea with emphasis on the use of Code of Unplanned Encounter at Sea (CUES).
In Zhanjiang, China, the PN contingent actively participated in activities that served as a great avenue to learn from and enhance relationship with the participating navies. During the shore sub-phase, such activities as diving operations and seminar exchange, medical seminar exchange, flight deck familiarization, were conducted.
On the sea sub-phase, communication drills, ships group formations, joint search and rescue, helicopter cross-deck landings, and replenishment at sea approaches in accordance with the CUES, were likewise held.
The PN contingent was hailed as the champion in the communication drill during the closing ceremony of ACMEX, where commander of the Naval Forces Southern Theatre Command, Vice Admiral Wang Hai, was the speaker.
BRP Dagupan City left Sangley Point, Cavite last Oct. 17, arriving in Zhiangjiang, China on the 20th.
The ship has a displacement of 4,265 tons at full load, is 273 feet long, has a draft of 12 feet, and has a top speed of 12 knots. It was commissioned in PN service during the 1990s.
Earlier, defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said the proposal for a joint ASEAN and Chinese naval exercise was submitted during the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting in Singapore last February. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency