Philippine Navy frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF16) with one AgustaWestland AW109 naval helicopter arrived at Fort Wharf Hill Port in Darwin, Australia on August 28 for the 14th Multilateral Regional Maritime Exercise codenamed “KAKADU” 2018 from August 31 to September 15.
“Onboard FF16 are the more or less 200-man contingent composing the Naval Task Force 91 headed by its commander, Capt. Junjie B. Tabuada. It can be recalled that four years ago, then newly-acquired FF16 was sent to its maiden overseas deployment to participate in the maritime regional training activity codenamed KAKADU,” the Philippine Navy said.
The contingent were welcomed by Philippine Honorary Consul General in Darwin, Consul Januario John Rivas, together with the Assistant Philippine Defense Armed Forces Attaché, Colonel Nhel Richard E. Patricio.
“On behalf of the Philippine Ambassador to Australia, Ambassador Wilson, we are very happy that you are here in Darwin, Australia. This is a second welcome to the Philippine Navy vessel, BRP Alcaraz. It is very important to the Philippines to participate in this kind of training as we work with our allies in the region,” Rivas said.
“KAKADU 2018 (KA18) is the largest international maritime exercise hosted biennially by Royal Australian Navy and represents an opportunity for invited navies to be deployed and undertake multinational maritime activities in a manner which promotes greater levels of military cooperation and understanding amongst regional nations. It aims to build and strengthen mutual understanding and interoperability in the maritime domain through series of training and engagement activities,” the Philippine Navy said.
24 naval vessels and 21 aircraft from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, UAE, USA and Vietnam are participating.
The Philippine Navy said its participation in Exercise KAKADU 2018 conveys the Command’s commitment in promoting multilateral cooperation and an affirmation of its commitment to collaborating with other navies to promote peace and stability in the maritime region.