The head of the Philippine Navy (PN) contingent expressed his appreciation for the dedication shown by all members of the Naval Task Group 80.5 which participated in the two-week long “Rim of the Pacific” (RIMPAC) exercises which took place off the waters of Hawaii from August 17 to 31.
In a statement Wednesday, Navy Captain Jerry Garrido, NTG 80.5 chief and concurrent commanding officer of the country’s first missile frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), lauded all 125 members of the contingent for all their hard work in making sure that Philippine participation in the biennial naval exercise will be a success.
This, he said, greatly helped “(in) promoting the Philippine Navy’s objective of strengthening the relationship and multilateral cooperation among regional and extra-regional navies with their eager participation in this RIMPAC exercise.”
The two-week RIMPAC exercise also served as the “shakedown cruise” of BRP Jose Rizal who was officially commissioned on July 10 at Alava Wharf, Subic Bay, Zambales, departing from there on July 29 and arriving in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on August 15 after a fueling stop in Guam last August 2.
“FF-150, with 125-strong men and women of Naval Task Group 80.5, successfully participated in serialized training, advanced integration, and free play training activities that were purely executed at sea amid the prevailing global pandemic,” PN public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said.
This year’s RIMPAC included 53 replenishment-at-sea events, 101 pallets of cargo distributed, over 16,000 rounds of small arms munitions shot, over 1,000 large caliber weapons fired, 13 missiles expended, and 1,100 pounds of mail delivered.
“These multi-dimensional training exercises allowed the members of NTG 80.5 to work in conjunction as they put into test the PN’s first four-dimensional warfare capable frigate that is at par with those of other participating navies,” Roxas said.
She added that the PN’s participation in a naval exercise of such magnitude advances its maritime operational capability to a multilateral level thus increasing readiness and inter-operability with foreign navies.
It further builds and strengthens mutual understanding through cooperative activities of multi-national maritime forces.
Meanwhile, PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo congratulated the NTG 80.5 for “completing all given serials of the exercise which demonstrates her (FF-150’s) capability to handle various operational requirements” without any derangements on the frigate’s weapons, communications, electronics, and information system hull, machinery, and electrical systems.
Also, Bacordo said the PN contingent took advantage of RIMPAC 2020 to train as a team, put the ship at pace with possible real-world scenarios, and got the crew to gel.
As this developed, US 3rd Fleet and RIMPAC20 commander Vice Admiral Scott Conn, during the closing ceremony on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time), visited the area where the ships of the 10 participating nations — including the Philippines’ BRP Jose Rizal — are docked to congratulate them for taking part in the exercise.
“We strengthened relationships and deepened our sense of trust in one another. Each one of our navies has something to offer and that diverse range of knowledge and professionalism is what makes us stronger, and allows us to work together to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific and ultimately, our collective prosperity,” he added.
Source: Philippines News Agency