By Francis Wakefield
The Philippine Navy (PN) and the United States Navy (USN) formally opened over the weekend the Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Samasama 2018 aboard BRP Tarlac (LD601) at Poro Point, San Fernando City, La Union.
Lt. Jose F. Covarrubias Jr., the public affairs chief of the Naval Forces Northern Luzon, said the maritime training activity codenamed “Samasama” is participated in by the Naval Forces Northern Luzon led by Commodore Nichols A. Driz and Task Force 73 of the US Navy’s 7th Fleet led by Rear Admiral Joey Tynch.
The PN’s Del Pilar-class frigate “BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF16)” and landing dock vessel “BRP Tarlac (LD601),” together with the US Navy expeditionary fast transport ship “USNS Millinocket” and diving and salvage ship “USNS Salvor,” will be involved in At-Sea Training on search and rescue (SAR); medical evacuation; visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS); maritime surveillance; replenishment at sea (RAS), and other related exercises to promote interoperability and develop mutual capabilities to address maritime security priorities.
He said representatives from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) led by Captain Masahiro Goto are also joining the training activity as an observer.