By Erwin Beleo
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – A US Navy ship Millinocket (T-EPF-3), Philippines ships BRP Tarlac (LD 601), and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF16) launched their two-day expedition for maritime exercise over the 20-nautical miles off to La Union started Thursday morning until Friday afternoon (July 12-13).
This exercise is part of its second iteration maritime training activity “Sama-sama” 2018.
Lt. Jose F. Covarrubias Jr., public affairs officer of the Naval Forces Northern Luzon based in Poro Point, said participating Navy units from the Philippine Navy ships FF 16, LD 601 conducted serial demonstration interoperability between these two ships, with the AW 109 helicopter, C90 aircraft, and the USNS Millinocket with their P-8A Orion.
Serial exercises were conducted are Division Tactics, replenishment at sea approaches, morse code flashing exercise, screen exercise, and maritime surveillance exercise.
Apparently, some of the exercises like visit, board search, seizure, search and rescue, deck qualification landing gunnery exercise, were not conducted due to bad weather or rough sea and its about 1.6-meters gale warning issued by Pag-asa which may endanger some personnel and equipment.
“Safety of both personnel and equipment is a primary concern during the exercises,” Covarrubias said in an interview.
All these trainings are designed to enhance the complexity and diversity of training opportunities and strengthening the longstanding alliance between the US and the Republic of the Philippines.