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Philippine Fleet wraps up live-fire drills off Zambales

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Fleet has concluded its annual “Exercise Pagbubuklod,” the unilateral exercise among different PF units, which saw the country’s frigates holding live-fire drills off Zambales.

PF commander Rear Adm. Renato David said Philippine sailors were able to hone their skills in manning and operating modern platforms and air assets during the training exercises from Oct. 23 to 27.

“When you train together, you forge the bond that will aid you in the operational areas. Your exposure to the different capabilities and limitations of other fleet units will provide you a better understanding of the other (units) so that you could adjust and be flexible in order to achieve the tasks,” David pointed out.

On Oct. 26, the PF said its missile frigates BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna conducted gunnery exercises with a multi-purpose attack craft armed with a Spike-ER missile, referring to the extended range surface-to-surface missile, during which the assets were able to successfully fire their weapons at the vicinity of Capones Island in San Antonio, Zambales.

“Live fire exercises are essential for the sailors to build confidence, improve understanding, and fine-tune the proper execution of these lethal capabilities,” the PF said.

“The successful conduct of these major training activities significantly fulfills the overall objectives of Exercise Pagbubuklod to optimize the utilization of assets and equipment, train personnel, and develop tactics and procedures ensuring success in the area of operations,” it added.

Newly acquired sea assets were also converged on Oct. 25 for capability testing.

Aside from the BRP Jose Rizal and Antonio Luna, assets that joined the convergence exercise were landing dock BRP Tarlac, fast attack interdiction crafts BRP Lolinato To-ong and BRP Gener Tinangag, patrol vessels BRP Valentin Diaz and BRP Ladislao Diwa, the missile-capable multi-purpose attack crafts or MPAC from a Boat Attack Division; and Naval Air Wing’s Maritime Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron Flight Bravo.

“These assets and personnel carried out exercises and maneuvers in strategic locations to enhance capabilities on Electronic Warfare