The navies of the Philippines, United States, Japan and India sailed for the first time together in the South China Sea as part of their week-long maritime training exercises.
Six ships from the four countries sailed across international waters to Changi in Singapore, where the second phase of ASEAN-Plus Defense Ministers’ Meeting Maritime Security Field Training Exercise 2019 will be concluded.
Captain Roy Vincent Trinidad, head of the Philippine Navy delegation, said in a statement, “The group sail showed the active participation of the Philippine Navy as it strengthens its relationships with allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.”
“This gives us another opportunity to learn from like-minded navies.”
Philippine Navy’s patrol vessel BRP Andres Bonifacio joined the activity sailing with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense force vessel, JS Izumo and JS Murasame, India’s ships INS Kolkata and Shakti, and the US’ Pacific Fleet vessel, USS William P. Lawrence.
“Our bond of friendship with our regional partners is a strong as our commitment to maintain peace and stability [in the] region,” said BRP Andres Bonifacio commanding officer Captain Jerry Garrido Jr.
The activity, which started in Busan, South Korea, is aimed at deepening the partnership and foster mutual understanding between participant countries.