PH Navy sends team to Australia for first time for training exercises with counterparts
MANILA, Philippines – Representatives from the Philippine Navy for the first time went to Australia where they joined their counterparts in training exercises as part of the Status of Visiting Forces Agreement that was ratified by the Philippine Senate in 2012.
Lieutenant Commander Gregory Fabic, Navy spokesman, said on Friday that the Filipino sailors have been in Australia since September 17 to participate in the Exercise Triton Century 2013. There were 17 other countries that joined the exercise.
They will also witness the Australian International Fleet Review, which marks the centenary of the Royal Australian Navy’s first fleet entry into Sydney. Eight sailors from the Philippine Navy were on board HMAS Parramatta, to participate in boarding activities and to cross train on various systems on board the Australian warship.
“The Philippine Navy participation is historic as it marks the first contingent from the Armed Forces of the Philippines to travel to Australia and participate in joint exercises since the SOVFA,” Fabic said.
Navy chief Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano said he found this “a great opportunity for Philippine sailors to work side by side their Australian counterparts and likewise gain significant knowledge, skills and training that would be very crucial in a modernizing navy.”
Ambassador of Australia to the Philippines Bill Tweddell also welcomed the participation of the Navy sailors in an exercise in Australia.
“We have a rich deference relationship with the Philippines extending back to the Second World War. While many Filipinos have benefited from education and training in Australia under our Defence Cooperation Program and Australian Defence Force personnel have participated in training in the Philippines, this is the first time Filipinos have participated in an exercise in Australia since the SOVFA was ratified. We look forward to more similar engagement in the future,” he said.
The Filipino sailors will return back to the country on October 7.
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