Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, has urged Naval Task Force 80.5 to impart the knowledge they gained from the two-week “Rim of the Pacific” (Rimpac) naval exercises to their colleagues once they return home.
“Impart the proficiencies that you have gained from the training exercises with the objective of augmenting the scope of capabilities of the Philippine Navy in fulfilling its mandate as the first line of defense of our maritime territories,” Gapay said during his virtual talk to the contingent, which consisted of the missile-frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and the 125 personnel aboard the ship in Hawaii on Thursday (Friday in Manila).
Rimpac 2020 was held off Hawaii’s waters from August 17 to 31.
The biennial naval exercise featured 53 replenishment-at-sea events, 101 pallets of cargo distributed, more than 16,000 rounds of small arms munitions shot, more than 1,000 large-caliber weapons fired, 13 missiles expended, and 1,100 pounds of mail delivered.
About 10 navies, 22 ships, and one submarine participated in the event.
“Given the fast-paced transformation in the maritime domain security in recent years, both locally and globally, the acquisition of the BRP Jose Rizal is a timely upgrade to the Navy’s current assets and definitely amplifies our capabilities in terms of maritime operability and readiness for potential threats to our territories,” Gapay added.
Also present during the virtual activity was PN Chief, Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo; Navy Vice Commander, Rear Admiral Rey de la Cruz; and Philippine Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Loumer Bernabe.
The PN’s participation in the Rim of the Pacific 2020 Exercise echoes the AFP’s commitment to promoting multilateral cooperation leading to the strengthening of relationship and cooperation among regional and extra-regional navies.
Source: Philippines News Agency