RIMPAC sea phase starts Wednesday

MANILA The two Philippine Navy (PN) ships deployed for this year's "Rim of the Pacific" (RIMPAC) exercise in Hawaii are scheduled to sail out anytime Wednesday (Manila time) to participate in the so-called "Force Integration Phase" (FIP) of the naval maneuvers.

"(The two ships will be sailing) at sea or the FIP of the exercise where various naval maneuvers and free-play exercises will be conducted.

This is also the phase where live-fire will be done," Navy spokesperson, Commander Jonathan Zata, said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The PN contingent to RIMPAC 2018 consists of the strategic sealift vessel BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), the frigate BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17), an AgustaWestland naval helicopter, and 700 sailors and marines.

The FIP will last until July 19, Zata said, adding that BRP Andres Bonifacio will participate in the live-fire phase with its 76-mm Oto Melara main gun and 25-mm secondary cannons.

RIMPAC is the world's largest joint and combined naval exercise. This year's exercises began June 27 and will last until August 2.

"Participating nations will demonstrate the inherent capabilities of their respective naval forces through a wide range of realistic exercises that include human assistance and disaster response, maritime security operations, sea maneuvers, and complex war fighting.

The exercise not only aims to harness each nation's naval capabilities but also to bolster cooperation among participating nations to secure the maritime commons against threats," the PN spokesperson earlier said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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