Training of crew to man proposed submarines also important: PN chief

Philippine Navy (PN) flag officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, on Wednesday stressed the importance of training the crew, who will man the submarines that the government is planning to acquire.

“Very complex ang submarine (Manning a submarine is very complex). Kailangan ng (It requires) sonar (detection and identification) skills. Meron na tayo tini-train, meron na tayong pinapadala (sa) abroad na (We already have personnel who are undergoing training. There are those we have sent abroad, including) officers and EP (enlisted personnel) to study the other capabilities of submarines,” Empedrad said in an interview with reporters.

The Navy’s Submarine Group selected the crew, he said, adding that the support of ranking government and military officials would beef up the training of personnel selected for submarine duty.

“(This) will increase the (tempo of the) training kasi ibang klaseng capability ito (because this is a distinct capability). We have to train personnel. It is not just acquiring equipment. Kailangan natin ng magagaling na mga tao na mag-man dito sa (We need skilled personnel to man these) submarines (which have) very complex equipment,” Empedrad pointed out.

Earlier, the Navy chief said he fully supports all proposals that would allow the country to acquire its first diesel-electric submarines at the soonest possible time.

This is because undersea or submarine warfare is now the trend in naval warfare as it is very difficult to fight an opponent you cannot see or detect due to its ability to go underwater, he said.

Empedrad added that the decision to acquire submarines for the Philippine military was further bolstered by a recent conference he attended in London, United Kingdom. PNA