BRP Jose Rizal to sail back to PHL this weekend

After their successful participation in the “Rim of the Pacific” (RIMPAC) naval exercises, the contingent of the missile-frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) is expected to start their voyage home to the Philippines this weekend.

“Tentatively, they will be leaving this weekend after their refueling and reprovisioning,” PN public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said in a message to the Philippine News Agency on Friday.

She added that BRP Jose Rizal and the 125-strong contingent aboard her, Naval Task Group 80.5, is expected to be in the country by the third week of September.

“We are (now) coordinating with the SBMA (Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority) if FF-150 (and the Navy personnel aboard her) needs to undergo (the) 14-day quarantine (now being conducted to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)) upon their arrival,” Roxas said.

When asked if the ship will also make another fueling and reprovisioning stop in Guam like the one they made during their voyage to Hawaii, Roxas said there is a good possibility as BRP Jose Rizal’s present position, once the voyage home starts, will again pass the island.

Earlier, PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo congratulated the NTG 80.5 for “completing all given serials of the exercise which demonstrates her (FF-150’s) capability to handle various operational requirements” without any derangements on the frigate’s weapons, communications, electronics, and information system hull, machinery, and electrical systems.

Bacordo added that the PN contingent took advantage of RIMPAC 2020 to train as a team and put the ship at pace with possible real-world scenarios.

The two-week RIMPAC exercise also served as the “shakedown cruise” of BRP Jose Rizal which was officially commissioned on July 10 at Alava Wharf, Subic Bay, Zambales.

It departed on July 29 and arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on August 15 after a fueling stop in Guam last August 2. PNA.GOV.PH