PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT VISITS AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST NAVY SHIP
Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visited the HMAS Adelaide, the largest ship ever built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The President was accompanied on the tour by members of the Cabinet Cluster on Security.
HMAS Adelaide is in Manila as part of a regional deployment by the Australian Defence Force to strengthen ties with the region. Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 aims to promote security and stability in Australia’s near region through engagement, training and capacity building. This is the ship’s maiden deployment to South East Asia.
Welcoming the President on arrival were Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely, Australian Chief of Defence Mark Binskin and ship Captain Jonathan Earley .
“I am pleased to welcome President Duterte to the HMAS Adelaide,” said Ambassador Gorely. “Both our countries have a strategic interest in ensuring maritime security and maintaining a stable region.”
The President was given a tour of the ship by Commander Joint Task Group, Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017, Captain Earley, who highlighted the ship’s Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) capabilities.
“The Australian Defence Force values the deep engagement with the Philippines, and our continuing engagement on key security priorities,” Captain Earley said. “The humanitarian aid and disaster relief training and the strong bilateral engagement during this visit illustrates how much Australia values its long-standing and close relationship with the Philippines.”
HMAS Adelaide is a Landing Helicopter Dock ship (LHD), weighing 27,800 tonnes and 230 metres in length, designed to provide medical and humanitarian assistance during regional emergencies with a 40-bed hospital, complete with 2 operating theatres. Its 200 metre flight-deck can carry up to 12 helicopters. More than 100 vehicles and 2100 tonnes of cargo can be stored inside. It can also transport up to 1,000 military personnel and their equipment for a rapid disaster response deployment.
The Adelaide will also visit Subic where the crew will continue their engagement with their Filipino counterparts. Over 100 Philippine Armed Forces personnel including the elite Philippine Marines will participate in a sea-ride on Adelaide’s landing craft providing a hands-on experience of the Australian Defence Force’s humanitarian and disaster relief capability. The exercise will provide a practical opportunity for the two militaries to further enhance interoperability and cooperation, particularly following a natural disaster.
Australia and the Philippines have a long-standing Defence Cooperation Program that includes counter-terrorism, maritime security and capability development assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
VIDEO: Courtesy of the Australian Department of Defence