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Sep 10, 2019 / 11:20

Vietnam, Philippines conduct joint patrols in South China Sea

Philippine offshore patrol vessel also pays a four-day visit to Ho Chi Minh City as part of efforts to strengthen military cooperation.

Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei early this month held a trilateral sail in the South China Sea en route to the first ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise (AUMX) 2019 in the Gulf of Thailand.
The Philippines's offshore patrol vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz docks in Ho Chi Minh City on September 7. Photo: VNA
The Philippines's offshore patrol vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz docks in Ho Chi Minh City on September 7. Photo: VNA

Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) Pohang-class HQ-18, Philippine Navy’s (PN) patrol ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS16) and Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) Darussalam-class offshore patrol vessel KDB Darulaman (OPV-08) together joined the patrols on way to participate in AUM X 2019, the Philippine Navy has reported.

BRP ALCARAZ initially met with KDB Darulaman at the vicinity off Kingston Shoal, Brunei on September 2 before they sailed together to meet HQ-18 in Hon Khoai Island, Vietnam, the PN said.

The three navy vessels will form as one of the combined task group among a series of drills and exercise which were conducted while en route to the exercise area, according to the PN.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese media reported that BRP Ramon Alcaraz docked in Vietnam’s southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday [September 7] for a four-day official visit.

It has on board 187 officers and crew members.

This is the third visit by a Philippine naval ship, aiming to strengthen friendship, cooperation and understanding between the two countries’ militaries, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The visitors will make courtesy calls on city leaders and officers at the Navy High Command, engage in sports exchanges with officers and sailors at the Vietnam Navy Engineering College and visit Vietnamese naval ships.

BRP Ramon Alcaraz was first launched in 1968 and served for decades as US Coast Guard cutter Dallas before being gifted to the Philippines in 2012.

In 2015, Vietnam and the Philippines entered into a defense and maritime agreement paving the way for the two countries to boost maritime security cooperation in the face of China’s military expansion in the region.

Also on Saturday, South Korean destroyer Moon Mu The Great and logistics ship Roks Hwacheon docked at Tien Sa Port in Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang for a two-day visit.