PHL Navy frigate sent off to Australia

The Philippine Navy sent-off its frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF16) on August 20 to participate in the 14th Multilateral Regional Maritime Exercise codenamed “KAKADU” 2018 from August 31 to September 15 in Darwin, Australia.

Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert A Empedrad oversaw the send-off for the 300-man contingent.

The Navy said KAKADU 2018 is the largest international maritime exercise hosted biennially by Royal Australian Navy.

“It represents an opportunity for invited navies to participate multinational maritime activities in a manner which promotes greater levels of military cooperation and understanding amongst nations,” it added.

A total of 24 naval vessels and 21 aircraft from 26 countries will participate.

“This is the third time the PN has sent its ship to participate since the exercise began in 1993. The first time that the PN sent a ship was in 1999 and the last was in 2014. PN observers were also sent in 2003, 2005, and 2007. However, in 2016 the Philippine Navy was not able to participate in this exercise,” the Navy said.

“The Philippine Navy’s participation in Exercise KAKADU 2018 conveys the Command’s commitment in promoting multilateral cooperation. It is an affirmation of its commitment in collaborating with other navies to promote peace and stability in the region,” it added. “As with other naval exercises, this activity is expected to validate the decades of friendship, partnership and cooperative engagement that had been established and was long time observed between the Philippines and Australia.”