The Philippine Navy (PN) held a send-off ceremony earlier today at Pier 13, South Harbor, Manila for its Landing Dock Ship, BRP Tarlac (LD601) with Helicopter Detachment Afloat (HDA) onboard for a Port Visit to Vladivostok, Russia and participation to the International Fleet Review (IFR) at Jeju Island, South Korea from September 21 to October 22, 2018.
This is the latest contingent sent by the PN following its successful participation in the RIMPAC Exercise in Hawaii and the recently concluded KAKADU 2018 exercise held in Darwin, Australia.
The purpose of the Port Visit and IFR is to maintain and strengthen good relations, enhance rapport and promote interoperability and cooperation in the maritime region. It is expected that the PN contingent will arrive on October 01 in Vladivostok, Russia and on October 10 in Jeju, South Korea.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Ernesto Abella graced the event as the Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker in behalf of DFA Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano. Underscoring its importance, USec. Abella said that, “This historic visit of our Naval Task Force to the Russian Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok addresses our omissions, reciprocates goodwill visits of Russian naval vessels in 2017 and 2018, demonstrates our firm commitment to forge stronger ties with Russia, and showcases our determined pursuit of an independent foreign policy”.
Navy Flag Officer In Command, Vice Adm. Robert A. Empedrad, also pointed out in his remarks that this historic undertaking is a demonstration of a “Navy that is now capable to extend its reach to conduct maritime patrol beyond our borders. The bold attempt for the first time a ship to visit Russia and the subsequent participation to the IFR in South Korea are manifestations of our deliberate intentions to explore and conquer uncharted territories”.
The port visit will be conducted from October 01 to 06 at Vladivostok, Russia. Series of activities between the two navies will be conducted in order to further enhance relationship and cooperation. This includes the visit to Russian Navy facilities and sports and cultural interaction. Sea sub-phase exercises will likewise be undertaken in the waters of Vladivostok after the conclusion of the port visit.
The International Fleet Review is scheduled from October 10 to 15 at Jeju Island, South Korea. Series of sea and shore activities will likewise be held with PN contingent and other countries’ navies. This is the first time the PN sends its ship to participate in this activity in South Korea.
The Philippine Navy’s Port Visit in Russia and its participation in the International Fleet Review promotes the navy’s critical role of sustaining international defense and security engagement and multilateral cooperation. It is an ingenuous affirmation of its commitment in collaborating with other navies to promote peace and stability in the region. PHILIPPINE NAVY