Three Philippine Navy (PN) officers sailed aboard the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS (Her Majesty’s Australian Ship) Canberra III which docked in Manila harbour on Sunday, Sept. 26, for a three-day port visit.
Captain Constancio Reyes, Lt. Chester Ramos, and Ensign Stacy Villanueva were part of the PN contingent that participated in the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021 (IPE21). They joined the Australian maritime task group of HMAS Canberra III, Sirius, and Anzac which began traveling to Manila last month.
The PN said that the three sailors returned home Sunday when the IPE21 task group arrived at the Port of Manila. The IPE21 in the Philippines will run from September 26 to 29.
Reyes serves as the deputy commander of the IPE21 which is Australia’s flagship regional engagement activity and a “demonstration” of its “steadfast support for a peaceful, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific region with ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] at its core.”
“Composed of 600 people from the Australian Defence force, civilian defence personnel, and sea riders, IPE21 aims to reinforce Australia’s strong and enduring partnership in Southeast Asia,” the PN said.
The IPE21 task group has engaged in a program of mutually supportive at-sea activities, training programs, and capacity building with several partners since late August.
The port visit followed the holding of bilateral Australia-Philippines at-sea naval “Exercise Lumbas” last Saturday.
During the maritime exercise, Filipino and Australian vessels worked together in a series of maneuvers at sea to improve their interoperability, and increase their maritime domain awareness and force generation.