Australia, PHL warships hold joint naval drills

The Philippine Navy (PN) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) conducted Exercise LUMBAS 2018, a combined Maritime Training Activity, from May 18 to 23 within PN-Naval Forces Central (NAVFORCEN) area-of-responsibility.

Exercise LUMBAS was held every year with Table Top Exercise (TTX) was held on odd numbered years and Field Training Exercise (FTX) on even numbered years, NAVFORCEN said.

“However, during the Navy to Navy Strategy talks held last 09 March 2017, Exercise LUMBAS will become an annual Naval Warfare Exercise focusing on the development of PN warfighting capabilities while Multi Agency TTX will shift from LUMBAS to Defense Cooperation Program (DCP) which will fall under the purview of the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC),” NAVFORCEN said.

LUMBAS is now focused on addressing transnational crimes, piracy, counter-terrorism, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and anti-narcotics.

“For this year, the Field Training Exercise of this event was executed in two (2) segments. Segment 1 was the Harbor Phase which was conducted at facilities of NBRR (Naval Base Rafael Ramos) and ships respective lecture/ training rooms. Opening ceremony, Subject Matter Expertise Exchanges (SMEEs), courtesy call, ships tour and FTX Opns Conferences and other related pre-sail briefing was held on 18-19 May 2018 prior the Sea Phase,” NAVFORCEN said.

“Segment 2 was the Sea Phase which was conducted at seawaters of Negros Island on 20-22 May 2018 and focused on capability enhancement for Naval Operations and Maritime Security Operations, hence building Common Operating Picture (COP), information sharing and territorial defense related training,” it added.

Among the major assets that participated were RAN Anzac-class frigate HMAS Anzac (FFH 150), PN Gregorio del Pilar-class frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF-16), and two Philippine Air Force FA-50PHs.