US Third Fleet commander Vice Admiral John D. Alexander paid a visit to the frigate BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17), the flagship of the Philippine Navy (PN) contingent to this year’s “Rim of the Pacific” (RIMPAC) exercise.

In a statement Thursday, Cmdr. Jonathan Zata, PN spokesperson, said the American naval official was welcomed by Naval Task Force RIMPAC commander Capt. Ernesto O. Baldovino and BRP Andres Bonifacio commanding officer, Cmdr. Jerry Y. Garrido.

The Filipino ship was docked off Bravo Pier, Pearl Harbor, he added.

Zata said Alexander officially welcomed the PN contingent to the largest international maritime Exercise RIMPAC 2018.

The two PN ships that are participating in this year’s naval exercises arrived in Hawaii Tuesday morning.

The visit concluded with an exchange of mementos from both countries, he added.

“This is the 2nd International Defense and Security Engagement of the Philippine Navy this year and the first time that it sent warships to RIMPAC,” Zata stressed.

Aside from tbe BRP Andres Bonifacio, strategic sealift vessel BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), an AgustaWestland AW-109 naval helicopter and 700 sailors and marines, were also deployed to this year’s RIMPAC exercise which started on June 27 and will end on August 2. (PNA)