Australia and Philippines show spirit of mateship

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Todd Fitzgerald (author), LSIS Ernesto Sanchez (photographer), LEUT Phillipe Fairs (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Arunta (F151), HMAS Stuart (F153), Regional Presence Deployment

HMAS Arunta's crew waves the Philippines flag on the Gun Director Platform during the Officer of the Watch Manoeuvres exercise, as part of Regional Presence Deployment 2020. (photo: LSIS Ernesto Sanchez)
HMAS Arunta's crew waves the Philippines flag on the Gun Director Platform during the Officer of the Watch Manoeuvres exercise, as part of Regional Presence Deployment 2020.

Warships from Australia and the Philippines have exercised for the third time in as many months during a Regional Presence Deployment.

HMA Ships Arunta and Stuart and BRP Apolinario Mabini conducted maritime manoeuvres and communication drills in the Celebes Sea.

Arunta’s Commanding Officer Commander Troy Duggan said the exercises demonstrated the close relationship between the two navies.

“This exercise has shown what can be achieved between key partners even during a global pandemic,” Commander Duggan said.

Commander of the Joint Task Group Captain Phillipa Hay said it was important that Australia continued to demonstrate its commitment to the region.

“I am so pleased we were able to conduct a number of exercises with the Philippines. These were great opportunities to demonstrate our strong friendship during COVID-19,” Captain Hay said.

“We remain committed to our partners and to the shared vision of a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”

HMAS Hobart, Stuart, Arunta and Sirius left Australia for deployment in July and are on their way home after the successful completion of Rim of the Pacific in Hawaii.

On its return journey, the task group is conducting a series of regional engagement activities with South-East Asian nations.

The Regional Presence Deployment demonstrates Australia’s commitment to sustaining strong and positive defence relationships with regional nations as well as the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.