Support from key PH leaders to help Navy in transformation goals

MANILA With strong support from President Rodrigo Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the Philippine Navy (PN) will soon reach its goal of being a strong and credible naval force in Southeast Asia.

"We are slowly regaining our maritime character as a nation and our vision of 'Becoming a Strong and Credible Navy' that our maritime nation, (the) Philippines, will be proud of by year 2020," Navy flag officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said during the Navy's 120th foundation ceremony held at the Coconut Palace in Pasay City on Tuesday.

By 2020, the Navy is expecting the delivery of one of the two missile-capable frigates ordered from South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries.

These ships will be armed with weapons capable of neutralizing surface, sub-surface and air threats. Arrival of these assets, including its first two anti-submarine helicopters by May 2019, will boost the capability of the Navy to go after such threats.

"Be that as it may, we are still too far behind compared to other navies in the region. But with the strongest support of our beloved President, the Secretary of National Defense and our political leaders, our dream will soon become a reality," Empedrad added.

Tuesday's celebration was highlighted by a capability demonstration on amphibious operations, counter-terrorism and hostage rescue by the Naval Special Operations Group and the Marines Special Operations Group, capped by a fleet review of vessels and fly-by of naval fixed and rotary aircraft, including the recently acquired TC-90s.

Empedrad said the last fleet review was held in 1998, making the event more memorable. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency