PH, US, Japanese navies take part in naval exercises
MANILA, Philippines—The maritime forces of the Philippines, United States and Japan took part in a two-day naval exercise in the West Philippine Sea that started on Wednesday, a Philippine Navy official said.
Representing the three countries are the BRP Gregorio del Pilar for the Philippine Navy, Sazanami for the Japanese Maritime Self-defense Force and the USS Antietam for the United States Navy.
Lieutenant Commander Marineth Domingo, Philippine Navy Public Affairs Office Chief, said Sazanami and Antietam are part of the strike team USS George Washington, an aircraft carrier, that is anchored off Manila Bay for a goodwill visit.
“This is fortunate because this is the first time that we had an exercise with the Japanese and the US Navy at the same time,” Domingo said.
She added that the naval exercises also involved formation exercises, live gunnery exercises and night publication exercises.
Night publication is used to communicate with other ships using codes especially in the dark.
“This is an opportune time for us to conduct these exercises as other navies in the world use this to communicate,” Domingo said.
During the second day of the visit, the crew of the USS George Washington paid goodwill visit to Children’s International in Quezon City where the soldiers had an outreach program.
Domingo said that the Philippines has a deep affinity with the USS George Washington, which has more than 300 troops with Filipino-American descent, as it was the first responder after Super Typhoon “Yolanda” ravaged Eastern Visayas.
“These guys are good people, especially that some of them are half-Filipino, they still have that Filipino heart within them,” Domingo said.
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