Maritime drill addresses interoperability issues: Navy chief

MANILA The recently-concluded ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise (ACMEX) has greatly addressed interoperability issues between the participating navies, a Philippine Navy (PN) official said Thursday.

"Itong exercise will reduce the issue of inter-operability, so maganda yung nakakapag-communicate yung barko natin sa barko ng China (This exercise will reduce the issue of interoperability and it's good that our naval ships can now communicate with those of China and other ASEAN navies). It's a good exercise and hope we'll have more of this in the future," PN Flag-Officer-in-Command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, said during the welcome ceremony for the BRP Dagupan City (LC-551) and the 200-contingent aboard.

The BRP Dagupan City took part in the ACMEX held in Zhanjiang, China on October 21-28.

The welcome ceremony was held at the Commodore Divino Pier, Naval Station Jose Andrada, Manila.

Empedrad further said the crew members of BRP Dagupan City showed their skills, winning the communication drill exercise.

Sending one contingent to represent the PN is a strong statement that we are one with the community of maritime nations who believe in unity and collaboration, especially in addressing mutual concerns, such as calamities that may affect any nation anytime, the PN chief earlier said.

The ACMEX 2018, which was hosted by the Republic of Singapore Navy and the China People's Liberation Army Navy, aimed to promote regional cooperation among the navies of the ASEAN member states, 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 joined activities that served as an avenue to learn from and enhance relationship with the participating navies.

During the shore sub-phase, activities such as diving operations and seminar exchange, medical seminar exchange, and flight deck familiarization were conducted.

While on the sea sub-phase, communication drills, ships group formations, joint search and rescue, cross helicopter deck landings, and replenishment at sea approaches in accordance with the CUES were also executed.

BRP Dagupan City left Sangley Point, Cavite last Oct. 17, arriving in Zhiangjiang, China on October 20.

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 Minister Meeting in Singapore last February. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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