MANILA – Missile-frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and the Naval Task Force (NTG) 80.5 on Wednesday docked at the Romeo Pier 1 of Naval Base Guam to replenish its fuel and other supplies before sailing back to the Philippines on Friday.
The ship and the 125 naval personnel aboard have successfully participated in this year’s “Rim of the Pacific” (RIMPAC) exercises which took place last August 17 to 31 off Hawaiian waters.
The BRP Jose Rizal left Pearl Harbor last Sept. 4.
NTG 80.5 and BRP Jose Rizal commander Captain Jerry Garrido said this two-day layover is “intended for refueling, reprovisioning, and other health and bio-safety protocols for us to check the well-being of the 125 sailors and aviators aboard FF-150 amid the (coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.”
The ship and its contingent will depart Guam on Sept. 18 and is expected to arrive in the country on Sept. 22.
“While en route to the said Pacific Island, FF-150 conducted several post-RIMPAC exercises with USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) of the United States Navy and KDB Darulehsan (OPV-07) of the Royal Brunei Navy, and a group sail with the latter aimed to improve PN interoperability and forge stronger diplomatic ties with other navies,” Philippine Navy public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said.
She added the vessel’s safe arrival in Guam is a validation of the improving capacities of PN personnel in handling modern ships and systems and sustaining operations overseas. Priam Nepomuceno / PNA – northboundasia.com