Symbolic ‘rite of passage’ done by two Philippine Navy warships near disputed waters

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NAVAL STATION JOSE ANDRADA, Manila-The Philippine Navy (PN) frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF150) conducted Passing Exercise (PASSEX) with another Philippine Navy warship BRP Quezon (PS70) at the vicinity of Fuga Island in Aparri, Cagayan today, September 22.

The BRP Rizal has reached the Philippine waters from a short lay-over in Guam following its successful participation in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2020 in Hawaii.

The vessel is expected to arrive at Pier 15, South Harbor, Manila tomorrow, September 23.

Its passage through Naval Forces Northern Luzon’s area of responsibility is deemed to be monumental and symbolic as it was able to show the Philippine flag and assert naval presence particularly in the strategic waters off Batag Island, Benham Rise and Fuga Island.

Said PASSEX was complemented by a low pass of two Philippine Air Force FA-50 fighter jets performed over Rizal at 300 feet altitude.

The exercise is a customary undertaking to ensure that vessels and aircraft are able to communicate and cooperate with each other. It is also a form of rendering honors to transiting naval vessels.

IN PHOTO: The BRP Jose Rizal as seen here in this photo, symbolically passing through the waters off Fuga Island in Aparri, Cagayan near South China sea on Tuesday morning, September 22. (PHILIPPINE NAVY-PIO)

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