Philippine Navy and United States Navy warships conducted joint exercises while sailing in Palawan waters on Thursday morning November 23.

Philippine Navy warships Gregorio del Pilar (PS15) and BRP Jose Rizal (FF150), together with U.S. Littoral Combat Ship Gabrielle Gifford (LCS 10), conducted tactical maneuvers and performed cross-deck operations, officer of the watch maneuvers, and publication and communication exercises in the West Philippine Sea and near the Malampaya Natural Gas to Power Platform (MNGPP), north of Palawan.

During the exercise, the ships formed an online abreast (horizontal) formation and maintained a distance of 500 yards while traveling at a speed of five knots.

The joint patrol was conducted in connection with the three-day maritime cooperative activity (MCA) on November 21-23 between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), aiming to enhance interoperability and combined capabilities in the maritime domain and foster regional cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region between the two military forces.

BRP Conrado Yap also joined USS Gabrielle Giffords in a Passing Exercise in WPS on Wednesday, November 22.

The three Philippine Navy vessels are under the operational control of Western Command and conduct regular maritime patrols in the WPS.

Aside from the maritime activities, the United States also sent air assets, including a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft and F-15 jetfighters from the US 7th Fleet, which were joined by the Philippine Air Force’s FA-50 jets and A-29B Super Tucano for a series of joint flight doctrine tests while performing aerial maneuvers in the skies over northern Luzon and in the WPS.

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