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Pandemic prompts postponement of Philippine, Brunei naval exercises

/ 09:53 PM October 07, 2020
Philippine Navy frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF 150) and Royal Brunei Navy offshore patrol vessel KDB Darulehsan (OPV 07) sail alongside USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) as part of a group sail following exercise Rim of the Pacific 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Devin M. Langer)

Philippine Navy frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF 150) and Royal Brunei Navy offshore patrol vessel KDB Darulehsan (OPV 07) sail alongside USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) as part of a group sail following exercise Rim of the Pacific 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Devin M. Langer)

MANILA, Philippines—A maritime exercise between the navies of the Philippines and Brunei set for this year has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The drills, called “Seagull”, were instead moved to 2021, the Philippine Navy said in a statement.

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The postponement of Seagull was among issues discussed by Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo and his Bruneian counterpart, First Admiral Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Othman bin Haji Suhaili at a video conference on Tuesday (Oct. 6).

A planning conference for the exercise, which was supposed to be hosted by the Royal Brunei Navy, had been conducted online in September.

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The Philippine Navy said online meetings have become the new normal in light of travel restrictions due to coronavirus.

But the two navies had a chance to work with each other at sea recently.

The Philippines’ BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and Brunei’s KDB Darulehsan (OPV07) joined the United States’ USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) in a group sail from Hawaii to Guam after the Rim of the Pacific exercises last month.

Bacordo said he assured his counterpart that the Philippine and Brunei navies “have all the friendship, trust and confidence” on a strong relationship despite not meeting each other physically.

Edited by TSB

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TAGS: BRP Jose Rizal, Brunei, conference, Coronavirus, COVID19, maritime exercises, navies, Philippines, postponed, Seagull
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