By Francis Wakefield
The Philippine Navy (PN) will render Thursday an arrival ceremony for the Naval Task Group (NTG) 88 contingent onboard BRP Dagupan City (LC551) after participating in the first maritime exercise between China and the ASEAN Navies at Zhanjiang, China from October 21 to 28, 2018.
Commander Jonathan Zata, the director of the Naval Public Affairs Office, said the arrival ceremony will be held at Commodore Divino Pier, Naval Station Jose Andrada, 2335 Roxas Boulevard, Manila, at about 7:30 a.m.
Navy Chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad will be the keynote speaker of the event to be attended by the Navy’s top brass.
Zata said the ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise (ACMEX) 2018 is an exercise hosted by the Royal Singapore Navy and China’s People Liberation Army, Navy (PLA-N).
Zata said the exercises aim to promote military exchanges and cooperation between ASEAN Member States (AMS) navies and China PLA focusing on maritime safety and search and rescue at sea with emphasis on the use of Code of Unplanned Encounter at Sea (CUES).
Earlier, Department of National Defense-Public Affairs Service chief Director Arsenio Andolong said the holding of the joint ASEAN and Chinese exercise came following the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Retreat in Singapore from February 5 to 6, 2018.
“The proposal for a joint ASEAN and Chinese exercise was submitted in February of this year during the ADMM Singapore or at the ASEAN Defense Ministers. It was proposed to the body which the body approved so hence it was scheduled at the moment,” Andolong said.