By Francis Wakefield
The Philippine Navy (PN) contingent to Exercise KAKADU 2018 (KA18) received a warm welcome from the Filipino community led by the Philippine honorary consulate general in Darwin, Consul Januario John Rivas at the Sanderson Middle School in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.
The Philippine delegation was headed by the Commander of the Philippine Fleet, Rear Adm. Danilo Rodelas, and the Head of Mission, Commodore Toribio Adaci Jr., along with about 100 PN personnel comprising the Naval Task Force (NTF) 91 led by Capt. Junjie Tabuada.
The Filipino-Australians showed their support to their “kababayans” through a simple gathering where they brought foods and drinks and prepared entertainment to make the night more lively.
In his remarks, Rodelas thanked the Filipino community for the warm reception and hospitality given to the PN contingent.
“You make us feel home, away from home,” he said.
On Saturday, Tabuada together with other NTF91 personnel paid a courtesy call on Filipino-Australian Association of the Northern Territory (FAANT) president Raul Daet.
This is the second time that BRP Alcaraz sailed to Darwin to participate in KA18, a biennial multilateral exercise being participated in by 27 countries around the world.
It was recalled that four years ago, then newly acquired FF16 was sent to its maiden overseas deployment to also participate in the maritime regional training activity.
KAKADU 2018 (KA18) is the largest international maritime exercise hosted biennially by Royal Australian Navy and represents an opportunity for invited navies to be deployed and undertake multinational maritime activities in a manner which promotes greater levels of military cooperation and understanding among regional nations. It aims to build and strengthen mutual understanding and interoperability in the maritime domain through series of training and engagement activities.
KA18 is the 14th iteration and will be participated by 24 naval vessels and 21 aircraft from 26 countries such as Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, United Arab Emirates USA and Vietnam.
The Philippine Navy’s participation in Exercise KAKADU 2018 conveys the Command’s commitment in promoting multilateral cooperation. It is an affirmation of its commitment to collaborating with other navies to promote peace and stability in the maritime region.