Philippine Navy (PN) chief, Vice Admiral Adeluis Bordado, said the country's participation in this year's iteration of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise highlights their intention to be more involved in international defense exercises.
“It also resonates with the orientation of the PN's intention to raise the level of its involvement in international defense and security engagements," Bordado said in his speech during the send-off ceremonies for the missile frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) and its contingent.
The ship and its crew along with Naval Task Group NTG (NTG 80.5) left Naval Operating Base Subic for Oahu, Hawaii Wednesday morning.
"RIMPAC's theme indicates a positive interdependent relationship among nations and the cooperative nature of managing maritime security,” Bordado said.
RIMPAC, which is spearheaded by the US Navy, is scheduled from June 29 to August 4. It is held biennially to promote regional stability in the Pacific Region.
Around 25,000 personnel from 26 participating nations are set to join the 28th iteration of RIMPAC which was first conducted in 1971.
"The Philippine Navy is [now] more capable. We are also more adaptive and attuned to the changing geopolitical landscape. And more importantly, we are now also steadily seeking to engage more like-minded partners to contribute to a stable and peaceful maritime space in the Indo-Pacific region,” Bordado said.
Navy spokesperson, Commander Benjo Negranza, earlier said NTG 80.5 will help develop, maintain, and enhance the Navy’s pursuit of maritime collaboration with its counterparts through the exercise.
"(RIMPAC is) one of the PN’s major International Defense and Security Engagement activities," he said.
The PN's participation in RIMPAC 2022, themed “Capable, Adaptive, Partners,” will be its third in the largest and premier maritime exercise, after its maiden participation in 2018 and its sophomore run in 2020.
In the 2018 RIMPAC, the Navy deployed the offshore patrol vessel, BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17) and the landing dock BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602). In the 2020 iteration of the maritime exercise, the PN sent the country's first missile frigate, the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150).
Both the BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna are capable of anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and electronic warfare operations.
The contract for the two ships was PHP16 billion and an additional PHP2 billion was spent on weapon systems and munitions.
Source: Philippines News Agency