MANILA The sea sub-phase of the first-ever ASEAN China Maritime Exercise (ACMEX) formally began on Thursday as the Philippine Navy's (PN) representative, BRP Dagupan City (LS-551), along with seven other participating naval vessels, sailed out to the drill area in Zhiangjiang.
Capt. Sherwin E. Respeto, Naval Task Force 88 commander, said this phase aims to execute all plans drafted, deliberated, and finalized to test the cohesiveness, effectiveness, and seamless communication among multi-lateral force partners in the conduct of various scenarios, such as communication drills, and ship group formations.
"Joint search-and-rescue, cross heli(copter) deck landings and replenishment-at-sea approaches (will be held) in accordance with the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES)," he added.
Each of the scenarios shall be led by different participating countries with BRP Dagupan City to lead the replenishment-at-sea exercise.
"The ACMEX's sea sub-phase provides an avenue for the PN to evaluate and validate the inter-operability and readiness of its assets and further enhance its capabilities to multi-lateral level," Respeto said.
BRP Dagupan City and the 200-man contingent aboard left Sangley Point, Cavite last Oct. 17, arriving in Zhiangjiang, China on October 20.
ACMEX 2018, which started on Oct. 21 and will end on Oct. 28, is hosted by the People's Republic of China and Republic of Singapore Navy.
BRP Dagupan City has a displacement of 4,265 tons at full load, measures 273 ft. long, has a draft of 12 ft. and a top speed of 12 knots. It was commissioned in PN service during the 1990s.
Philippine defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong earlier said the proposal for a joint ASEAN and Chinese naval exercise was submitted during the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting in Singapore last February. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency