PHL Navy joins inaugural ASEAN-United States Maritime Exercise

The Philippine Navy (PN) held a send-off ceremony at Pier 13 here earlier today for its Del Pilar-class patrol ship, BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS16), departing for Sattahip, Thailand to participate in the inaugural ASEAN-United States Maritime Exercise (AUMX) on Sept. 2 to 6, 2019.

Representing the PN Flag Officer In Command was the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Adm. Loumer Bernabe who oversaw the sending off of Naval Task Group (NTG) 80.5 comprises of around 200 sailors and Marines coming from different divisions of the PN.

NTG 80.5 is being headed by Capt. Hilarion Cesista. In his remarks, Rear Admiral Bernabe underscored the significance of sending PN personnel abroad to participate in this maritime exercise “as this demonstrates our capability as well as our commitment to make Southeast Asia secured and progressive” and “an opportunity to strengthen close ties with counterparts in our shared efforts to maintain peace and security in the ASEAN region”.

He concluded by reminding the departing sailors and Marines “to embody the excellence and high standard of professionalism at all times” and enjoined them “to be at your best while on your mission and take this opportunity as well to learn as much as you can”.

AUMX 2019 is the first ever maritime drill between the navies of the ASEAN member states and the United States. It is co-hosted by the Royal Thai Navy and the US Navy. Operating under the theme “Enhancing Shared Awareness and Interoperability in the Maritime Domain”, this maritime exercise aims to promote maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded commerce in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law.

Exercise proper will be executed off the eastern waters of Thailand where sea and air assets, and special operations teams of participating navies will conduct combined maneuvers to address various contingencies at sea.

This naval exercise is a platform on how the PN and other navies in the region can cooperate and work altogether to address shared maritime security priorities through the development of combined operational doctrines, practices and naval tactics.

The PN’s participation in this undertaking is expected to advance its maritime operational capability to multilateral level thereby increasing readiness and interoperability and enabling the nation’s premiere maritime force to assert more efficiency in the conduct of its mandated task. NAVY.MIL.PH