By Francis Wakefield
The Philippine Navy (PN) recently conducted a send-off ceremony to the Naval Task Group 80.5 (NTG 80.5) on board the BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF17) for the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA 2017) in Langkawi, Malaysia from March 21 to 26, 2017.
After the exhibition, NTG 80.5 will undertake goodwill visits to Lumut and Klang, also in Malaysia, prior to its return to the Philippines on April 6, 2017.
Navy Vice Admiral Rear Admiral Rafael G. Mariano presided over the Send-Off Ceremony for the 208 members of the PN contingent on board FF17, the Navy’s newest acquisition.
The International Defense and Security Engagement will be highlighted by the attendance of the Flag Officer in Command of the Philippine Navy in the Chief of Navy Roundtable Talks (CNRT) and the participation of FF17 in the LIMA Sea Exercise (LSX), a half-day Multinational Naval Exercise among participating countries.
Captain Lued L. Lincuna, the Director of the Naval Public Affairs Office, said the goodwill visits to Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) bases in Lumut and Klang is also expected to strengthen the relationship between the Philippine Navy and the RMN.
Lincuna said the visits are also intended to “show the flag” to inspire Filipino communities in Malaysia to support the endeavors of the PN and the Armed Forces of the Philippines as a whole.
LIMA is one of the most influential exhibitions in Asia since this is a dedicated maritime and aerospace exhibition for defense, civil and commercial aviation, shipbuilding and ship repair.