MANILAThe head of Naval Task Force (NTF) 87 expressed his utmost gratitude to the Russian government for the warm welcome accorded to the officers and enlisted personnel aboard strategic sealift vessel BRP Tarlac (LD-601), which is now on its historic first-ever Russian port call at Vladivostok.
Russian ladies gave flowers and bread with salt to NTF head Capt. Florante Gagua as part of their tradition in welcoming guests.
Also present were Russian Navy officers who warmly welcomed members of the NTF-87 who arrived in Vladivostok Monday afternoon.
He also thanked Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and PN flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Robert A. Empedrad, for trusting him to lead the Navy contingent in this historic engagement in Russia.
"This and similar activities are great platforms for the Philippine Navy to work closer together with other countries' navy to address common maritime security concerns, as well as avenues to learn from and enhance relations with navies such as the Russian Navy. The PN endeavors to further enhance and sustain the promotion of peace, stability, and maritime cooperation through navy-to-navy engagements," Gagua said in a statement.
Also present to welcome the visting Navy contingent were Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta and Defense Armed Forces Attache Col. Dennis Francis V. Pastor.
BRP Tarlac's arrival in Vladivostok marks the first time a PN commissioned vessel to visit Russia.
"This is made possible through the Commander-in-Chief's efforts to modernizing your navy as well as the support from all stakeholders in seeing a stronger and more credible maritime organization," he added.
BRP Tarlac's first ever port visit to Russia will be conducted from Oct 1 to 6. She left Manila South Harbor last Sept. 21. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency