Lorenzana hopes Philippines will be invited for next Rim of the Pacific exercise
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed hope the Philippines will be invited to join the next Rim of the Pacific (Rimpac) exercise two years from now.
“We hope that we will be invited again in the future so that we can send more people. We were talking a while ago and since this is a very good exposure for our defense people, not only the Navy and Marines, but maybe we could also send some more Army, Special Forces to participate and also some of our Air Force Special...next time,” Lorenzana said in a speech Monday during the arrival ceremony for the Philippine Navy contingent to Rimpac 2018.
The Philippines joined the exercise for the first time.
“Maybe next time around we can also send more ships, maybe three ships altogether, next year if we will be invited so that we can send more people, The Philippine Navy’s presence in exercises like the Rimpac signifies a new era of maritime operational engagement, cooperation and interoperability with other navies to tackle areas of common concern,” he added.
Lorenzana emphasized the importance of this exercise and noted the possibility of having naval exercises with neighboring countries, including Indonesia and Malaysia.
“Indeed, as we face growing maritime security challenges around the world, there is a need for navies to work together to increase familiarity and exchange best practices. We also have these trilateral exercises, naval patrols with Navy, with Indonesia and Malaysia, not only maritime patrol but also aerial patrol. So maybe we could also go into naval exercises with them in the future, something that we should discuss with my counterpart,” he said.
“By participating in joint multilateral maritime exercises, our sailors and Marines are exposed to new ideas and ways of handling things which can be used to enhance our own systems and doctrines. It’s also a good chance for our personnel to experience planning and execution of combined naval operations as well as establish the Navy's capacity for prolonged operations overseas,” he added.
Commander Jonathan Zata, Philippine Navy spokesman, said the welcome ceremony for the 700 on the BRP Davao Del Sur and BRP Andres Bonifacio was conducted at Pier 13, South Harbor.
He said the Rimpac Exercise 2018 that ran from June 27 to August 2 at Honolulu, Hawaii is the world’s premier and largest joint and combined naval exercise hosted biennially by the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet.
“This year’s iteration which operated under the theme Capable, Adaptive Partners marks the historic participation of the Philippines by sending a sizeable contingent, two of the Navy’s recently-acquired vessels and an embarked Agusta Westland (AW) 109 naval helicopter for the first time,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS