Royal Australian Navy, Philippine Navy vessels conduct PASSEX off Subic Bay

Australian and Filipino naval ships conducted a passing exercise (PASSEX) off the waters of Grande Island, Subic Bay, Zambales on Sunday. Participating in the PASSEX were Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships HMAS Arunta (FFH-151) and HMAS Sirius (0-266) and the Philippine Navy’s BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16).

This is in connection with the five-day goodwill visit of the Australian ships which started Oct. 7 and ended on the 11th, PN public affairs office chief Cmdr. Lued Lincuna said.

While conducting PASSEX, the vessels conducted maneuvering, visual communications and publication exercises utilizing the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), a non-binding rules-of-the-road agreement between the 21 member countries of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) which offers a safety measure and a means to limit mutual interference, to limit uncertainty and to facilitate communication when naval ships encounter each other in an unplanned manner.

Lincuna said the exercise served as an avenue in enhancing the ability and skills of the sailors and promote cooperation and interoperability between the two navies. Moreover, the exercise was also a chance to establish a professional relationship with allies for a more capable force working in synergy at sea.

Both HMAS Arunta and HMAS Sirius arrived in Subic on Oct. 11 for a goodwill visit which signals the deepening relationship and partnership between the PN and RAN.

The visit involved several confidence building activities between PN personnel and their visiting counterparts that involved ship’s tour, courtesy calls, and sports events. The Philippines is just one of the ports of call of the RAN ships as part of their South East Asia deployment.