This years iteration of the world’s largest joint and combined naval exercise, Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2020 (RIMPAC20), culminated on August 31 (HST) which marked the successful maiden participation of the Philippine Navys (PN) brand new frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF150).
As part of the concluding ceremony, U.S. 3rd Fleet and RIMPAC20 commander, Vice Adm. Scott Conn, visited the area where the ships of the 10 participating nations including the Philippines’ BRP Jose Rizal (FF150) are docked to congratulate them for taking part in the exercise today, Sept 1.
“We strengthened relationships and deepened our sense of trust in one another. Each one of our navies has something to offer and that diverse range of knowledge and professionalism is what makes us stronger, and allows us to work together to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific and ultimately, our collective prosperity” said Vice Adm. Conn.
Vice Adm. Conn also exchanged pleasantries and congratulated the commanding officer of FF150 and concurrent contingent commander, Capt. Jerry Garrido Jr., for the fruitful participation of the PN in this U.S. led naval exercise.
In his statement, Capt. Garrido Jr., lauded the members of Naval Task Group (NTG) 80.5 for their dedication, “[in] promoting the Philippine Navys objective of strengthening relationship and multilateral cooperation among regional and extra regional navies with their eager participation in this RIMPAC Exercise.”
Navy chief Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo congratulated the NTG 80.5 for “completing all given serials of the exercise which demonstrates her (FF150s) capability to handle various operational requirements” without any derangements on the frigate’s weapons, communications, electronics and information system hull, machinery, and electrical systems.
“The Navy contingent took advantage of RIMPAC 2020 to train as a team, put the ship at pace with possible real-world scenarios, and the crew to gel during this time” Bacordo added.
Serving as a shakedown cruise shortly after its commissioning ceremony in July, FF150, with 125-strong men and women of Naval Task Group 80.5, successfully participated in serialized training, advanced integration, and free play training activities that were purely executed at sea amid the prevailing global pandemic.
This years RIMPAC included 53 replenishment-at-sea events, 101 pallets of cargo distributed, over 16,000 rounds of small arms munitions shot, over 1,000 large caliber weapons fired, 13 missiles expended, and 1,100 pounds of mail delivered.
These multi-dimensional training exercises allowed the members of NTG 80.5 to work in conjunction as they put into test the PNs first four-dimensional warfare capable frigate that is at par with those of other participating navies.
The PNs participation in a naval exercise of such magnitude advances its maritime operational capability to multilateral level thereby increasing readiness and interoperability with foreign navies. It further builds and strengthens mutual understanding through cooperative activities of multi-national maritime forces. NAVY.MIL.PH