PH joins Rimpac, the world's biggest naval exercise

PH joins Rimpac, the world's biggest naval exercise


A testament to the world’s aspirations for peace.


The Philippines is once again part of the world’s largest naval exercise, as we will be sending one of out two guided-missile frigate to be part of the 25,000 personnel from 26 countries at the end of the month.


BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) will sail from the country next week to join the US-led Rim of the Pacific (Rimpac) Exercise, the Philippine Navy said.

(BRP Antonio Luna, PN photo)


Thirty-eight ships, four submarines, nine national land forces and more than 170 aircraft will participate in the biennial Rimpac from June 29 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and southern California, the US Navy announced on Wednesday.


The US Navy said that the participants will “train and operate together in order to strengthen their collective forces and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.”


The training will include amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as counterpiracy and mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal, and diving and salvage operations.


The 2,600-ton BRP Antonio Luna, the second of two South Korean-built Jose Rizal-class frigates, was recently armed with missiles.


The 140-man Rimpac contingent will be led by Naval Task Group 80.5 commander Captain Charles Villanueva.


The Philippines will be joined by four other Southeast Asian countries – Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore – all situated around the South China Sea, a flashpoint in the rivalry between the US and China, which has been aggressively asserting its maritime dominance.


The participation of the Philippines and its Southeast Asian neighbors “appears to indicate growing wariness of Beijing, given recent South China Sea events,” said maritime security expert Collin Koh of Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

“Clearly they might be using Rimpac as a signaling towards China not to take them too lightly or in a too cavalier manner over the recurring instances of maritime coercion,” Koh told the Inquirer.


China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, which includes the West Philippine Sea and straddles one of the world’s busiest sea lanes atop possibly large oil and gas fields.


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