The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer, JS Akizuki (DD-115), will be capping her three-day goodwill visit to the Philippines with a passing exercise (PASSEX) with Philippine naval units on Monday. This was confirmed by Philippine Navy spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna in an e-mail message Friday.
A PASSEX consists of sea drills done to ensure synchronization of communication and cooperation between the participating Navies in combined naval operations.
The JS Akizuki docked off the Alava Wharf at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority in Olongapo City on Friday. The destroyer and its 200 officers and enlisted personnel will leave on April 16.
Before docking at the Alava Wharf, the JS Akizuki was given a meeting point procedure off Morong, Bataan by BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35). JS Akizuki is commanded by Commander Kazunori Ishii.
Also aboard was Capt. Ryoko Azuma, JMSDF Escort Division One commander. Azuma is the first female to command a JMSDF squadron, which includes the helicopter carrier, the JS Izumo (DDH-183), which also visited the Philippines in June last year.
Her appointment took place last March 6, Lincuna said.
“The visit aims to strengthen the relationship between the two navies. It will further enhance and sustain the promotion of peace, stability and maritime cooperation of the two countries through naval diplomacy and camaraderie,” Lincuna said.
And as in their previous visits, the JMSDF personnel will engage in a series of confidence-building exercises with their Philippine Navy counterparts, which include goodwill games and boodle fight.
The JS Akizuki is a member of the Azisuki-class destroyers designed to protect the JMSDF’s Hyuga class and Izumo class helicopter destroyers and escort other sophisticated Japanese naval vessels.
Designed to engage surface, sub-surface and air threats, JS Akizuki weighs 6,800 tons at full load and is capable of cruising at a speed of 30 knots. PNA