The Philippine Navy on Thursday, August 29, 2019 holds a send off ceremony led by Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad for its Del Pilar-class patrol ship, BRP Ramon Alcaraz, which is departing for Sattahip, Thailand to participate in the inaugural ASEAN-United States Maritime Exercise (AUMX) on September 2-6, 2019. PN photo

Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Loumer Bernabe underscored that sending the country’s naval forces in the exercise would depict the Philippines’ capability and commitment in making the Southeast Asian region “secured and progressive.”

Bernabe also said this would be “an opportunity to strengthen close ties with counterparts in our shared efforts to maintain peace and security in the ASEAN region.”

According to the Navy, the exercises will be executed off the eastern waters of Thailand where sea and air assets as well as special operations teams of participating navies are set to conduct combined maneuvers to address various contingencies at sea.

It was earlier mentioned by Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad that inter-operation among ships are done to address maritime security threats such as piracy and human assistance and disaster relief.

“‘Yun ‘yung purpose ng lahat ng exercise and of course, it helps also to train our personnel by… malaking tulong sa training ng personnel namin, you build confidence by sending them at sea, maalon ngayon diyan,” Empedrad had told reporters.

Empedrad said Navy personnel would be trained how to respond on scenarios such as intrusion in waters and transnational crimes.

The Navy noted that the exercise is the first ever maritime drill between the navies of the ASEAN member states and the United States.

Operating under the theme, “Enhancing Shared Awareness and Interoperability in the Maritime Domain,” the drill is co-hosted by the Royal Thai Navy and the US Navy. — Anna Felicia Bajo/RSJ, GMA News