The 'enduring' military bond between the Philippines and the United States and the warfighting capabilities of the Philippine Navy (PN) will be on full display at this year's "Exercise Samasama" drills. "It has since been a beacon of cooperation and readiness and a testament of the enduring bond between the Philippines and the United States," PN chief Vice Adm. Toribio Adaci Jr. said during Monday's opening rites at the PN headquarters in Naval Station Jose Andrada, Roxas Boulevard, Manila. Adaci stressed that "Exercise Samasama" is all about enhancing interoperability and fostering regional cooperation among the participants. This cooperation, the PN chief said, is helpful in countering "non-traditional challenges that transcend our borders." "From territorial defense to countering transnational crimes, 'Samasama' [helps] us to face an array of threats together," Adaci noted. For the PN, Adaci said the exercise is a vital platform for capacity building and improving warfighting capabilities in "various dimensions of modern naval operations from anti-submarine warfare, to electronic warfare." The exercise enhances the PN's readiness to "confront the various spectrum of security challenges," Adaci noted. The Armed Forces of the Philippines earlier said "Exercise Samasama", which runs until Oct. 13, aims to further improve maritime integration and combined interoperability with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), and the United Kingdom's Royal Navy (RN) through subject-matter expert exchanges (SMEEs) and humanitarian assistance and disaster response table-top events. The exercises would be held at the Naval Forces Southern Luzon area. It added that the French Navy and RAN will send personnel to join the SMEEs while the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) and Indonesian Navy would join as observers. Participating personnel for "Exercise Samasama" include 733 from the PN; 632 from the USN; 244 from the RCN; 169 from the JMSDF; 34 from the RN; seven from the French Navy; three from the RAN; two from the Indonesian Navy; and one from the RNZN. Meanwhile, participating ships include the BRP Antonio Luna from the PN, USS Dewey and USNS Wally Schirra of the USN, RN's HMS Spey, RCN's HMCS Vancouver, and JMSDF's JS Akebono.
Source: Philippines News Agency