PH sends off contingent to largest Navy drill in Hawaii

THE Philippine Navy on Wednesday sent off its contingent to Hawaii that will participate in this year’s Rim of Pacific Exercises (Rimpac), the largest naval drill initiated by the US.

The contingent, in a two-ship flotilla, is composed of the Navy’s sealift vessel BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602) and frigate BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17) along with an AgustaWestland (AW-109) utility helicopter.

The Navy’s contingent or the Naval Task Force Rimpac is composed of 700 sailors and marines.

The send-off ceremony was held on Wednesday morning in the headquarters of Naval Forces Central in Cebu.

The Philippine ships and the Malaysian craft will be linking up with other navies that will join the drills, including Indonesia, Japan and Australia.

Rimpac 2018 is scheduled from June 27 to August 2.

The US had disinvited China from participating in the largest naval exercises as announced by the US Department of Defense, citing the militarization of Beijing on reefs within the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea). DEMPSEY REYES

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