MANILAThe Philippine Navy (PN) is important to the country's bid to become a strategic player in the Asia-Pacific Region.
In line with this initiative, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana challenged the PN leadership to see to it that the Navy is prepared to conduct operations in its traditional and non-traditional role.
"Let me challenge the PN's leadership and naval planners to see to it that our Navy is prepared to engage in future naval operations, both in the navy's traditional and non-traditional roles," he added.
Lorenzana said that the PN will be playing a vital role in the projection of the country's defense posture.
The DND chief also said the PN's first time participation in the just-concluded "Rim of the Pacific" (RIMPAC) exercises in Hawaii signifies a new era in its maritime operational engagement, cooperation and interoperability with other Navies allowing it to tackle areas of common concern.
The PN deployed the strategic sealift vessel BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602) and frigate BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17), an AgustaWestland naval helicopter and around 700 sailors and marines for the exercises which started June 27 and ended on August 2.
"By participating in joint multi-lateral maritime exercises our sailors and marines are exposed to new ideas and ways of handling things which can be used to enhance our own systems and doctrines, it's also a good chance for our personnel to experience planning and execution of combined naval operations as well as establish the Navy's capacity for prolonged operations over seas, our way forward is therefore clear," Lorenzana stressed.
To this end, the DND chief said efforts will continue on acquiring more assets for the PN to make it stronger and more credible. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency