Several high-ranking naval officers from Malaysia, India, and Mexico have boarded the frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF151) during the sidelines of the ongoing Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2022 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor in Hickam, Hawaii, the Philippine Navy (PN) said Monday, July 11.
Captain Charles Merric Villanueva, commanding officer of the Jose-Rizal class BRP Antonio Luna, welcomed his counterparts Captain Saket Khanna of Indian Navy’s Shivalik-class frigate INS Satpura; Commander Mohd Asri Bin Dasman of Royal Malaysian Navy’s Kasturi-class corvette KD Lekir; and Captain Alberto Ortega Padilla of Armada de Mexico’s (Mexican Navy) Sierra-class corvette ARM Juarez from July 6 to 7.
“The visitors were accorded a tour around the Philippine Navy’s Jose Rizal-class frigate and exchanged mementos and plaques, a gesture aimed at sustaining good relations with partner navies,” said Commander Benjo Negranza, PN spokesperson.
Filipino cuisine also took the center stage during a cross-deck activity aboard Mexico’s ARM Juarez which was participated in by the mess team of the PN contingent led by Ensign Janrey Artus.
A cross-deck activity refers to the sharing of resources between naval vessels.
The mess department personnel of BRP Antonio Luna prepared local favorites such as chicken-pork adobo and laing, and a sweet complement of yema cake for the commanding officer and crew of the Mexican Navy corvette.
“This activity on the sidelines of the ongoing RIMPAC 2022 in Hawaii enabled the Philippine contingent to showcase a taste of our cuisine to foreign Navy counterparts. It was also an opportunity to observe their best practices in terms of food preparation aboardship while in-port and underway,” Negranza said.
The PN’s Naval Task Group 80.5 is participating in the RIMPAC 2022, the world’s largest maritime drills, which is slated from June 29 to August 4. This is the third time that the PN has participated in the RIMPAC since it began in 1971.
The exercise “provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships among participants,” according to the PN, which is critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.
Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, four submarines, more than 170 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.
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