The Philippine Navy (PN) contingent for this year’s “Rim of the Pacific” (RIMPAC) naval exercises will leave for Hawaii on Wednesday.
RIMPAC 2018, the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971, carries the theme, “Capable, Adaptive, Partners”. The biennial event will have 26 countries as participants and will take place in Hawaii and Southern California.
Two Navy ships, the strategic sealift vessel BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602) and frigate BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17), along with the AgustaWestland AW-109 naval helicopter, will join RIMPAC 2018 scheduled from June 27 to August 2.
Navy spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna, in a statement Friday, said these assets will be joined by a Naval Special Operations Group team and a Marine company.
The Filipino ships and their crew will deploy from Cebu on their way to the Hawaiian training area. The Navy contingent already left Pier 13, Manila South Harbor for Cebu on Friday morning.
The contingent, now called the Naval Task Force (NTF) RIMPAC, will be commanded by Capt. Ernesto Baldovino, while the mission head will be Commodore Toribio Adaci.
Lincuna said NTF RIMPAC will be further complemented by components of the Civil Military Operations, and students from various PN training schools, among others.
RIMPAC is known as the world’s largest international maritime exercise and this year, it will involve 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces and over 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel.
RIMPAC is the second International Defense and Security Engagement that the PN will participate in this year. The first was during the Multinational Exercise Komodo 2018 in Indonesia early May.
A Royal Malaysian Navy ship will join NTF RIMPAC as it sails from Cebu and will link up with the Indonesian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and Royal Australian Navy along the way for the ASEAN++ Group Sail en route to RIMPAC 2018.
“The PN’s participation in this undertaking is expected to advance its maritime operational capability to multilateral levels, thereby increasing readiness and interoperability and enabling the nation’s premiere maritime force to be more effective and efficient in the conduct of its mandated task,” Lincuna said.#