Busy sked awaits BRP Jose Rizal crew in Hawaii maritime exercise

by Philippines News Agency | July 15, 2020

MANILA – A “busy schedule” awaits officers and crew members of the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), the Philippine Navy’s (PN) first missile-frigate, when they join the “Rim of the Pacific” (RIMPAC) exercises off Hawaii on August 17-31.

“(The) FF-150 will participate in a lot of exercises in RIMPAC, based on their schedule of events,” PN public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, said in a message to the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday night. “I know there will be exercise(s) related to anti-submarine warfare, air defense, surface, and maritime security exercises.”

The RIMPAC, which is held every other year, is described as the largest maritime warfare exercise in the world.

Roxas said the ship’s crew would use the two-week RIMPAC maneuvers as a “shakedown cruise” to test the performance and seaworthiness of the brand-new missile frigate.

A “shakedown cruise” allows the crew to familiarize themselves aboard a new vessel and ensure that all of the ship’s systems are functional.

The ship has 65 crew members and is commanded by Capt. Jerry Garrido.

“Other than that, it is a chance for the officers and crew to work as a team since most of the time they are conducting individual training. Through this exercise, they will be able to conduct and function as a whole team of FF-150,” she said.

The RIMPAC, being a multi-dimensional training exercise, will be a chance for the BRP Jose Rizal “to level up its engagement in this four-dimension warfare”, Roxas added.

“Having this exercise for FF-150, it is an opportunity now that we have this capability in our inventory,” she said.

The ship is capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and electronic warfare operations.

The BRP Jose Rizal was launched at the Hyundai Heavy Industries’ shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea on May 23, 2019.

Its sister ship, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), was launched in the same facility on November 8 last year.

The contract for the two ships was PHP16 billion, along with PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions.