PN contingent arrives for Australian maritime exercise
The Philippine Navy contingent to join the Kakadu maritime exercise, Australia's biggest sea drill, arrived at Fort Wharf Hill Port last Tuesday.
Lt. Maria Christina Roxas, public affairs office of Philippine Navy Naval Task Force 91, said Wednesday night BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF16) with one Augusta Westland 109 helicopter and more than 200 personnel headed by Naval Task Force 91 Commander Captain Junjie Tabuada arrived around 9 am Australian time).
“Upon its arrival, Philippine Honorary Consul General in Darwin, Consul Januario John Rivas, together with the Assistant Philippine Defense Armed Forces Attach?, Col. Nhel Richard Patricio, rendered a warm welcome to the Philippine Navy contingent,” she said.
Rivas emphasized the importance of joining the exercise Kakadu for the Philippine.
“On behalf of the Philippine Ambassador to Australia, Ambassador Wilson, we are very happy that you are here in Darwin, Australia,” said Rivas.
“This is a second welcome to the Philippine Navy vessel, BRP Alcaraz. It is very important to the Philippines to participate in this kind of training as we work with our allies in the region,” he added.
Roxas said Rivas also mentioned how the Filipino community are eager to welcome the Philippine Navy contingent, saying that there are activities prepared for them.
“Consul Rivas discussed the rich history of the Filipino heritage in Darwin and the protocols while the contingent stays in Australia,” she said.
“Col. Patricio conducted security briefing for the Philippine Navy contingent in the mess deck,” she added.
Roxas recalled that four years ago, “then newly-acquired FF16 was sent to its maiden overseas deployment to participate in the maritime regional training activity codenamed Kakadu.”
“Kakadu 2018 (KA18) is the largest international maritime exercise hosted biennially by Royal Australian Navy and represents an opportunity for invited navies to be deployed and undertake multinational maritime activities in a manner which promotes greater levels of military cooperation and understanding amongst regional nations,” she said.
Roxas said this year’s Kakadu exercise which will run from August 31 to September 15, 2018, is the 14th iteration of the exercise and “will be participated in by 24 naval vessels and 21 aircraft from 26 countries. These are Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, UAE, USA and Vietnam.”
“The Philippine Navy’s participation in exercise Kakadu 2018 conveys the command’s commitment in promoting multilateral cooperation. It is an affirmation of its commitment to collaborating with other navies to promote peace and stability in the maritime region,” she said. Robina Asido/DMS