MANILA The frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF-16) and the 300-man contingent aboard her will be in Darwin, Australia within six to eight days, Philippine Navy (PN) spokesperson Cmdr. Jonathan Zata said Monday.
The unit is the Navy's participants to this year's Multilateral Regional Exercise "KAKADU" slated August 31-September 15.
"The Naval Task Force just departed for Darwin, Australia (Manila South Harbor Monday afternoon). The travel will be six to eight days," Zata said in a message to the PNA.
"Exercise KAKADU will also have a Harbor Phase where in-port training, expertise exchanges, sports and cultural interaction will take place. The Force Integration or At-Sea Phase will involve a host of surface, air and subsurface exercises where interoperability between and among participating ships will be tested and validated in a variety of scenario-driven serials," Zata said.
Around 26 countries are expected to participate in this year's "KAKADU" along with 24 naval vessels and 21 aircraft.
"(KAKADU 2018) will be participated by 24 vessels and 21 aircrafts from 26 countries. The participating countries involve including the Philippines are Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, UAE, USA and Vietnam," Zata earlier said.
He added that this is the third time the PN has sent its ship to participate since the exercise began in 1993.
The first time that the PN sent a ship was in 1999 and the last was in 2014.
PN observers were also sent in 2003, 2005, and 2007. However, in 2016 the Navy was not able to participate in the above-mentioned exercise.
"KAKADU" is the 14th iteration of the multilateral naval exercise hosted biennially by the Royal Australian Navy having started in 1993. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency