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The ASEAN Fleet Review highlights the PH’s dedication to marine security.

The ASEAN Fleet Review (AFR), held this year in Subic Bay, Zambales, on Thursday, is evidence of the Philippines’ “unwavering commitment” to advancing maritime security in the area.

Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr., commander of the Philippine Navy (PN), said late on Thursday that AFR participants had shown their readiness and naval prowess.

The Philippines, he continued, is committed to protecting “our shared waters, countering maritime threats, and ensuring the stability that underpins our economic growth and prosperity.”

I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Royal Thai (RT) Navy for setting the stage and leading the very first ASEAN Fleet Review and AMNEX in 2017. As we begin the ASEAN Fleet Review and the second iteration of the ASEAN Multinational Naval Exercise (AMNEX) under the auspices of the PN, I would like to thank the RT Navy for all of its hard work. The RT Navy was crucial in transforming AMNEX into a great platform for resolving shared marine issues in the area and improving military responsiveness, according to Adaci.

Participating ships in the AFR were the PN’s BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) and BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17); RSS Supreme (73) from the Republic of Singapore Navy; KRI Gusti Ngurah Rai (332) from the Indonesian Navy; KD Leiku (FF-G30) from the Royal Malaysian Navy; OPV 512 (Patanni Class) from the Royal Thai Navy; KDB Daruttaqwa(09) and KDB Afiat (20) from the Royal Brunei Navy; Trang Hung Dao (015) from the Vietnam People’s Navy.

The AFR 2023 allows the ASEAN members to act as goodwill ambassadors and promote ASEAN centrality and cooperation under the theme “Synergy at Sea: Regional Cohesion for Peace and Stability.”

Highly effective

The event was deemed a success because two PN ships and an additional seven ships from ASEAN nations could take part, according to Department of National Defense (DND) chief Carlito Galvez Jr. and Adaci, who also witnessed the AFR.

“The fleet inspection we saw today was very enjoyable to watch. We are extremely happy for being able to bring together two PN and seven vessels from other ASEAN navies, in addition to the exciting sights and sounds that filled our senses, he continued.

Galvez added that even nations without standing fleets, such as Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, sent observers to the event, a commendable show of ASEAN unity and cooperation.

“We are confident that this year’s AFR, conducted alongside the 2nd ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise, will further foster interoperability and cooperation among ASEAN member states in responsible maritime security operations,” the official emphasized.

Galvez further underlined that this activity was not a display of force but rather a demonstration of the importance of ASEAN and the solidarity and oneness of the various nations.

He continued that the ASEAN navies collaborate to support law-based and secure maritime operations with our brothers and family of like-minded countries.

Galvez claimed that if all of the armed forces communicated with one another, we could stop conflict from breaking out because we would be promoting peace and understanding and reaching out to everyone. “Congratulations and continued success to Team Philippine Navy! You deserve praise for kindly hosting the AFR 2023. What a way to celebrate your 125th anniversary in two weeks. The One Defense-AFP Team-Philippines and I extend our best wishes to our sailors and marines. “Fair winds, clear skies, and following seas always,” he said.

PH Fleet carries out first-ever PFDEX.

In a related event, on Thursday, the Philippine Fleet (PF) held the first-ever Philippine Fleet Defense Expo (PFDEX) 2023 at the Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite City. The PF displayed its contemporary naval systems and desired future capabilities of the PN.

All enthusiasts and interested parties are welcome to attend PFDEX 2023, which will take place from Thursday to Saturday.

This event, which is being organized in collaboration with EXPOASIA, is a part of the lead-up to the 125th anniversary of the Philippine National Railways later this month.

It brings together the naval defense and maritime sectors in an exhibition space to display their goods and technological advancements.

The PFDEX, which is thought to be the first of its kind in the AFP, also includes lectures from experts in the field and offers a preview of upcoming Navy assets like submarines, offshore patrol boats, unmanned systems, naval weapons and combat systems, cyber and electronic warfare, ISR systems, naval aviation, force protection, logistical systems, and support systems.

This activity shows the Navy’s increased efforts to improve its marine defense capabilities while also giving the military and security sector a platform to grow networks and look into the potential for collaboration with decision-makers and business leaders.

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