MANILA — A guided missile frigate of the Philippine Navy left for Hawaii on Wednesday to join the United States-hosted Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise, the world's largest maritime drill.
BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) left the Naval Operating Base in Subic, Zambales at around 10:30 a.m Wednesday, shortly after it was sent off by officials led by Navy chief Vice Admiral Adeluis Bordado.
Navy spokesman Cdr. Benjo Negranza said that if sea conditions permit, the frigate is expected to arrive in Hawaii 3 days before the start of the exercise on June 29, with a stopover in Guam for refueling.
This is the third time the Philippine Navy will be taking part in the biennial exercise, which will run until August 4.
The Navy's other ships, including landing dock BRP Davao del Sur, patrol vessel BRP Andres Bonifacio, and BRP Jose Rizal, have joined the RIMPAC since the Philippines first participated in the exercise in 2018.
Negranza said BRP Antonio Luna will be involved in shipboard training and humanitarian assistance and disaster response training, among others, during the RIMPAC Exercise.
Negranza said the Philippine Navy is participating in the US-led training “for regional stability.”
“It is also part of our commitment to our allied navies for regional cooperation and also to gain best practices. It's also for naval diplomacy,” said Negranza of the Philippine Navy’s involvement.
This year’s RIMPAC will involve navies from 26 countries.
Aside from the US and the Philippines, the navies of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, and United Kingdom will also be joining the exercise.