300-man Navy contingent off to Australia tomorrow for regional maritime exercises

Published August 19, 2018, 4:30 PM

by iManila Developer

By Francis Wakefield

The Philippine Navy (PN) will render tomorrow a send-off ceremony for its 300-man contingent onboard BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF16) departing for Darwin, Australia to participate in the Multilateral Regional Maritime Exercise codenamed KAKADU 2018 from August 31 to September 15, 2018.

BREAK FROM PATROL — ‘BRP Ramon Alcaraz’ is docked at Poro Point in San Fernando City, La Union, yesterday and will be open to the public for viewing until today. The Philippine Navy ship is completing its logistic requirements while on break from patrolling Benham Rise. (Erwin G. Beleo | Manila Bulletin)
‘BRP Ramon Alcaraz’ (Erwin Beleo | Manila Bulletin File Photo)

Commander Jonathan V. Zata, director of the Naval Public Affairs, said the send off ceremony will be held at Pier 13, South Harbor, Manila, at 2 p.m.

Zata said exercise KAKADU is the 14th iteration of the multilateral naval exercise hosted biennially by the Royal Australian Navy, having commenced in 1993 and was last conducted in 2016.

“It (KAKADU) represents an opportunity for invited navies to participate in multinational maritime activities in a manner which promotes greater levels of military cooperation and understanding amongst nations,” Zata said.

Zata said this is the third time the Philippine Navy will be sending its ship to participate since the exercise began back in 1993. The first time that the PN sent a ship was in 1999 and the last was in 2014.

“Philippine Navy observers were also sent in 2003, 2005, and 2007. However, in 2016 the Philippine Navy was not able to participate in this exercise,” Zata said.

Zata said KAKADU 2018 will be participated in by 24 naval vessels and 21 aircrafts from 26 countries.

The participating countries in the exercise, aside from the Philippines, are Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, UAE, USA and Vietnam.