Navies of US, PH conduct maritime activity in waters off western Palawan
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy along with its counterparts in the United States conducted a sail in the western waters off Palawan on Monday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.
The Navy’s guided-missile frigate BRP Jose Rizal and the US Navy Alrleigh Burke-class guided missile-destroyer USS Ralph Johnson were used during the division tactics rehearsal, according to AFP chief of public affairs Col. Enrico Gil Ileto.
“This event aims to provide an opportunity for the Philippine Navy and the US Indo-Pacific Navy to test and refine existing maritime doctrine and demonstrate their defense capabilities in line with the shared commitment of upholding peace and security in the Indo-Pacific Region,” Ileto said in a statement.
The activity was done relatively near the contested Spratly Islands, parts of which belonged to the country under the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea that China also claims under its sweeping ten dash-line.
Ileto said that the activity was done under the Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board framework which aims to bolster the interoperability between the navies of the two countries.
“The AFP shall continue to be involved in bilateral and multilateral activities that will contribute to the AFP’s capability development to perform its mission of protecting the country’s national sovereignty and national territory,” Ileto said.