Navy ships of the Philippines and Australia over the weekend held maritime exercises aimed at “promoting peace and stability” in the region. The Philippine Navy (PN)’s second missile-frigate, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), participated at-sea phase of Exercise Lumbas 2021 with two Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessels on Saturday for the “maneuver exercise, division tactics, and formations in column and abreast using NATO coded messages”. Exercise Lumbas is a bilateral Australia-Philippines exercise.
“This visit reflects the spirit of mateship and bayanihan during our 75th Anniversary of diplomatic relations. It also demonstrates the increasing mutual trust and cooperation between the Australian Defence Force and the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Australian Ambassador Steven Robinson AO said.
“BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) participates in the at-sea phase of Exercise Lumbas 2021 to strengthen cooperation and to promote peace and stability within the region together with HMAS Canberra and HMAS Anzac on Sept. 26,” a post on the BRP Antonio Luna’s Facebook page said Monday.
The exercise focused on high-end training and interoperability that will benefit both nations in increased maritime domain awareness and force generation. After the series of maneuvers at sea, the two RAN ships, along with tanker HMAS Sirius, docked in Manila for a three-day visit which is part of Indo Pacific Endeavour 2021 (IPE21). IPE21 is Australia’s flagship regional engagement activity and a demonstration of Australia’s support for a peaceful, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific region, with Asean at its core.
Since late-August, the Indo Pacific Endeavour 2021 task group has engaged in a program of at-sea activities, training programs and capacity building with Australia’s partners in the region. The three-month deployment involves around 700 people, including Australian defense and civilian personnel and participants from partner nations. These include PN Captain Constancio Reyes who is serving as IPE21’s deputy commander. IPE21 in the Philippines will run from Sept. 26 to 29.