By Francis Wakefield
The Commander of the United States 3rd Fleet officially welcomed the Philippine Navy contingent to the largest international maritime Exercise RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) 2018, during his visit on board BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF17) at Bravo Pier, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Thursday.
The Philippine Naval Task Force RIMPAC Commander, Captain Ernesto O. Baldovino, and Commander Jerry Y. Garrido, the Commanding Officer of BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF17), were on hand during the visit of Vice Admiral John D. Alexander.
Alexander greeted the officers and sailors of the Philippine who will take part in the exercises.
The visit concluded with an exchange of mementos from both countries.
This is the 2nd International Defense and Security Engagement of the Philippine Navy this year and the first time that it sent warships to RIMPAC.
Earlier, Cdr. Jonathan Zata, the Director of the Naval Public Affairs Office, said Philippine Navy (PN) vessels, BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17) and BRP Davao Del Sur with one Augusta Westland Helicopter completed the PN contingent for RIMPAC 2018.
“The PN’s participation in this undertaking is indeed proof that the nation’s premier maritime force is “coming of age”, consistent to its vision towards a strong and credible navy, that our maritime nation can be proud of,” Zata said.
RIMPAC 2018 with its theme, “Capable, Adaptive, Partners” is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971 that is held biennially.
Zata said for the first time the Philippine Navy is sending a Naval Task Force to participate in the world’s largest joint and combined naval exercise, scheduled from June 27 to Aug. 2, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.
“This is by far the largest International Defense and Security Engagement (IDSE) that the PN will participate for this year with the Commander, Fleet-Marine Ready Force, Commodore Toribio D. Adaci Jr. as its head of the mission,” he said.
Zata said participating nations will demonstrate the capabilities of their respective naval forces through a wide range of realistic exercises that includes Human Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR), Maritime Security Operations, Sea Maneuvers and complex warfighting.
“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,” Zata said.