Friday, June 19, 2015

2 of PN's most-up-to-date warships to join CARAT 2015

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 18): 2 of PN's most-up-to-date warships to join CARAT 2015

Two of the country's up-to-date warships, the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) will participate in this year's Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercises.

CARAT is 21st iteration of bilateral maritime exercise between the US and the Philippines.

They will be joined by the USS Forth Worth (LCS-3) in sea exercises which is slated to begin this June 18 to 30.

The latter is a "Freedom" class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy. LCS is short for "littoral combat ship."

CARAT 2015 will be formally opened on June 22, 1:30 p.m. at the Naval Station Apolinario Jalandoni at Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

CARAT 2015 public affairs officer Lt. Liezl M. Vidallon said American and Filipino ships would conduct gunnery exercises in the waters east of Palawan, especially the Sulu Sea, by June 21 or 22.

She added that maneuvers have nothing to do with the ongoing tensions between the Philippines and China at the West Philippine Sea.

Aside from the gunnery exercises, Filipino and American sailors will also conduct helicopter crash and salvage drills, deck-landing qualifications, visit, board, search-and-seizure and weapon system training.

Vidallon added that Filipino naval personnel will also get a chance to see first-hand a "rolling, airframe missile" (the American RIM 116 small, lightweight, infrared homing surface-to-air missile.)

"They will be introducing the weapon to our sailors for familiarization purposes," she said.

Vidallon said that 12-day exercise aims to enhance the inter-operability between the USN and the PN.

"Furthermore, it will strengthen both navies’ combined capabilities in amphibious operations, special operations, surface warfare, and modern naval warfare; enhance information sharing; and will promote relationship and goodwill," she added.

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