Aimed at promoting peace and stability in the region, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) of the Philippine Navy (PN) and two Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessels engaged in the at-sea portion of Exercise Lumbas 2021 on Saturday, September 25, 2021, for the “maneuver exercise, division tactics, and formations in column and abreast using NATO coded messages.”
“BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) participates in the at-sea phase of Exercise Lumbas 2021 to strengthen cooperation and to promote peace and stability within the region together with HMAS Canberra and HMAS Anzac on September 26,” a post on the BRP Antonio Luna’s Facebook page said Monday.
Exercise Lumbas is a bilateral exercise between Australia and the Philippines.
The exercise centered on advanced training and interoperability, which will assist both countries in terms of greater maritime domain awareness and force generation.
Following a series of maneuvers at sea, the two RAN ships, along with the tanker HMAS Sirius, docked in Manila for a three-day visit as part of the Indo Pacific Endeavour 2021 (IPE21).
Australian Ambassador Steven Robinson AO stated in a news release that Australia is “very pleased” to host IPE21 in the Philippines.
“This visit reflects the spirit of mateship and bayanihan during our 75th Anniversary of diplomatic relations. It also demonstrates the increasing mutual trust and cooperation between the Australian Defence Force and the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” said Robinson.
“It is part of our robust and longstanding engagement with the Philippines to promote a secure, open, prosperous, and resilient region,” he added.
IPE21 is Australia’s flagship regional engagement activity, and it demonstrates Australia’s support for a peaceful, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific region led by ASEAN.
Since late August, the IPE21 task group has been conducting at-sea operations, training programs, and capacity development with Australia’s regional partners.
Around 700 people are involved in the three-month deployment, including Australian defense and civilian staff as well as participants from partner nations.
Among them is PN Captain Constancio Reyes, the deputy commander of IPE21.
IPE21 in the Philippines will run from September 26 to 29.