PH Navy wraps up smooth stint in RIMPAC 2020

Published September 2, 2020, 5:22 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Without encountering any problems, the Philippine Navy (PN) announced Wednesday that it has successfully concluded its participation in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2020, the largest maritime warfare drill in the world, held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Philippine Navy

Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, PN Flag Officer in Command, congratulated the Naval Task Group 80.5 for completing all given serials of the exercise on August 31.

Bacordo was elated with the performance of the contingent aboard the brand new frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), which capabilities were tested during the drill.

He said the contingent reported that there was no derangement on the ship’s weapons, communications, electronics and information system, hull, machinery, and electrical systems.

“The Navy contingent took advantage of RIMPAC 2020 to train as a team, put the ship at pace with possible real-world scenarios, and the crew to gel during this time,” the Navy chief said.

Meanwhile, Captain Jerry Garrido Jr., skipper of BRP Jose Rizal, lauded the members of NTG 80.5 for their dedication “in promoting the Philippine Navy’s objective of strengthening relationship and multilateral cooperation among regional and extra regional navies with their eager participation” in the RIMPAC 2020.

The NTG 80.5, composed of 125 PN personnel,  participated in serialized training, advanced integration, and free play training activities that were purely executed at sea amid the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

It included 53 replenishment-at-sea events, 101 pallets of cargo distributed, over 16,000 rounds of small arms munitions shot, over 1,000 large caliber weapons fired, 13 missiles expended, and 1,100 pounds of mail delivered.

The multi-dimensional training exercises allowed the members of NTG 80.5 “to work in conjunction as they put into test the PN’s first four-dimensional warfare capable frigate that is at par with those of other participating navies,” Garrido said.

Vice Adm. Scott Conn, commander of RIMPAC 2020 and the US Navy’s 3rd Fleet, exchanged pleasantries and congratulated Garrido after the drill for the “fruitful participation” of the PN in the US-led naval exercise.

“We strengthened relationships and deepened our sense of trust in one another. Each one of our navies has something to offer and that diverse range of knowledge and professionalism is what makes us stronger, and allows us to work together to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific and ultimately, our collective prosperity,” Conn said.

The RIMPAC 2020, held from August 17 to 31, was participated in by 10 countries namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Singapore, and United States.

A total of 22 ships, one submarine, and around 5,300 naval personnel joined in the drill that pushed through despite the limitations brought about by the pandemic.

The RIMPAC 2020 served as a shakedown cruise for the BRP Jose Rizal to test the frigate’s capabilities after its commissioning ceremony two months ago.