As fleet grows, PH Navy wants new recruits

The Philippine Navy is looking for “skilled” new recruits to its fleet as it continues to acquire new assets and achieve its long-term goals.

“One of my command guidance in recruiting Navy personnel is ‘yung mga skilled engineers. We need to get the bright ones that we need to man our ships,” said Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad in an interview with military’s radio station DWDD on Wednesday.

“We want engineers, computer experts. We want people who can operate and maintain weapons system na first time lang magkakaroon like surface-to-air missiles, torpedoes, and surface-to-surface missiles,” he added.

The Navy will soon put to test recently acquired Israeli-built missile system for its small vessels. It has a range of eight kilometers.

It is also expecting two missile-capable frigates by 2020, aside from the other sea assets it will acquire like offshore patrol vessels, corvettes, and helicopters.

“We are a maritime nation. We need the Navy to secure the sovereignty and maritime waters,” Empedrad noted.

“We are the only branch of service that has a small army (Marines), air force, and a huge navy. We are a three-dimensional service,” he further said.

There are about 22,000 Navy and Marines out of the 130,000-strong Philippine military. The Navy seeks to enlist 1,500 recruits this year, a source said.   /kga

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