US admiral lauds Phil. Navy’s ‘phenomenal job’ at Hawaii military exercises

Published August 27, 2020, 5:10 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The contingent of the Philippine Navy currently participating in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercises in Hawaii is doing a “phenomenal job,” United States Navy Vice Admiral Scott D. Conn, Commander of the Third Fleet said on Thursday. 

“I would say upfront, we are very happy to have the Philippines participating in RIMPAC here with their ship, Jose Rizal.  And that group of sailors, led by their captain, is doing a phenomenal job,” Vice Admiral Conn said during the U.S. Asia Pacific Media Hub conference. 

The US naval officer was responding to a question about the participation of the Philippines in the 13-day RIMPAC exercises amid its current difficult relationship with the United States. 

“I respect the fact that individual nations have to make choices.  We continue to stress our free and open values, and we are just more than happy to have (the) Philippines here with us this year,” he said. 

RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise held biennially in Honolulu, Hawaii.

This year, the US Navy announced the participation of 10 nations, 22 ships, one submarine, and approximately 5,300 personnel, all at sea.

The Philippine Navy has dispatched a 125-man team onboard its newest acquisitions, the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), the first guided-missile frigate of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The participating naval group is led by Navy Captain Jerry Garrido Jr. as the concurrent contingent commander and complemented by the surface, services, and support components.

This year’s military drill exercise will be an at-sea event only with minimized shore-based activities to ensure the safety of all participants.