BRP Andres Bonifacio joins sea phase of 'Komodo' drills closing

By Priam Nepomuceno

June 9, 2023, 2:47 pm

<p><em>(Photo courtesy of Philippine Navy)</em></p>

(Photo courtesy of Philippine Navy)

MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN)'s offshore patrol vessel, BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17), participated in the sea phase drills of this year's "Komodo" naval exercises that had the Filipino warship being tasked to rescue a distressed person at the concluding phase of the exercises on Thursday.

"The event is composed of the multinational photo exercise, maritime interdiction operation, and search and rescue exercise, wherein BRP Andres Bonifacio was designated to recover and provide assistance to a simulated person in distress at sea," Naval Task Group 80.5 public affairs office chief Lt. Jonathan V. Carretas said in a statement Friday.

These exercises took place in the waters of Makassar, Indonesia.

Carretas said the whole-day activity ended with the traditional passing exercise initiated by the Indonesian Navy missile corvette KRI Sultan Hasanuddin.

"(This was done) as a gesture of gratitude for the PN’s participation as well as to convey their wish for a safe voyage back to the Philippines," he added. Some 193 PN personnel were deployed to take part in the "Komodo" drills.

Meanwhile, Naval Task Group 80.5 chief, Commander Paul Michael P. Hechanova, reciprocated the gesture with a congratulatory message for the successful conduct of this year's "Komodo" naval exercises.

He also conveyed the enduring commitment of the PN to build a safe, secure, and prosperous maritime domain for all.

"Komodo" is a military exercise by the Indonesian Navy and is annually held between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The first iteration of the naval exercise took place in 2014 in Indonesia's Batam City.

This year's exercises took place from June 4 to 8. The BRP Andres Bonifacio left Naval Operating Base Subic last May 29 to participate in these naval drills.

"Komodo" emphasized military operations other than war with navies responding to natural disasters, humanitarian assistance, and maritime threats.

"The exercise theme is 'Partnership to Recover and To Rise Stronger' to promote the spirit of collective awakening from the Covid-19 pandemic and increase friendship among countries for a better future," Carretas earlier said. (PNA)