AUSTRALIAN NAVY SHIPS VISIT TO THE PHILIPPINES
Royal Australian Navy ships HMAS Arunta and HMAS Sirius are in Subic for a five-day visit, 7-11 October 2015. The short break from sea will give the ships’ companies an opportunity to continue their association with Filipino colleagues and experience Philippine culture and sights.
“Australia values the deepening engagement with the Philippine Navy,” said Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell, who welcomed the officers and crews of Arunta and Sirius at Subic, where the ships are docked. The Ambassador was accompanied by Defence Attaché Col Bruce Murray, AM.
Australia and the Philippines have a long-standing Defence Cooperation Program on counter-terrorism, maritime security and assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program. Recently, Australia gifted two operation-ready Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) from the Royal Australian Navy to help improve the Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) capacity of the Philippine armed forces.
The Royal Australian Navy played a vital part in the Australian Defence Force’s humanitarian efforts in the Philippines in 2013, carrying emergency supplies, water purifiers, generators, earth moving equipment and vehicles to areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda.
HMAS Arunta is an Anzac class frigate while HMAS Sirius is a fleet replenishment ship. The two ships have just completed successful exercises in the Indian Ocean.
HMAS Arunta is the second Royal Australian Navy ship to bear the name, and has historical ties to the Philippines. The first HMAS Arunta took part in the liberation of the Philippines in 1944, including pre-landing bombardments at Leyte Gulf and the Battle of Surigao Strait. In January 1945 the ship was suffered a near miss from a kamikaze at Lingayen Gulf. In July 1946 the first HMAS Arunta carried Commodore John Collins to Manila for the inauguration of the Philippine Republic.
The current HMAS Arunta has another link to the Philippines. Two Filipino-Australian sailors are currently serving as part of Arunta’s ship's company. Able Seaman Electronics Technician Aaron Scott and Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Matthew Parry will be taking some time off to visit with family in the Philippines.
“This deployment is especially important to me as I am able to visit the Philippines again, and I feel proud that my family will get to see me doing my job. It will also be a good opportunity to embrace, explore and remember what my background culture is all about,” Able Seaman Scott said.
This will be Able Seaman Parry’s first visit to the Philippines. "The port visit to the Philippines will be a great opportunity to meet family I have never met and to see what the culture and the lifestyle is like for my Mother and her family,” he said.
Imagery available at: (Photos by LSIS Bradley Darvill/RAN)
http://images.defence.gov.au/S20152810 - HMAS Arunta and Sirius conduct a replenishment at sea enroute to Subic Bay, Philippines.
Sailor exploring heritage during Philippines visit
Able Seaman Electronic Technician Aaron Scott is currently serving in his third ship in his five years with the Royal Australian Navy, and as part of HMAS Arunta’s ship's company, he is preparing to arrive in Subic Bay, in the Philippines.
Arunta and HMAS Sirius have come from India, just completing the inaugural AUSINDEX15, a bilateral maritime activity between Australian and India, and will be renewing friendships during a scheduled port visit.
Australian-Philippines Defence cooperation dates back to the Second World War and both countries are members of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium.
In more recent times, Royal Australian Navy ship, HMAS Tobruk, undertook 14 days of tasking in the Ormoc area in the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda, force assigned to OPERATION PHILIPPINES ASSIST. During this tasking the ship and its embarked capabilities visited four districts and distributed over 100 tonnes of food and humanitarian aid stores. The ship also completed survey and clearance tasks and supported local infrastructure remediation.
The Philippine Navy sent BRP Ramon Alcaraz to participate in Exercise KAKADU 14, staged in Darwin and HMAS Larrakia visited the Philippines in 2014.
But for Able Seaman Scott, this visit has been long anticipated as the Nowra-born member is of Filipino heritage and only visited his mother’s native country for the first time, about five years ago.
“This time in the Philippines will be my second visit and will give me an opportunity to see my aunties and uncles, and about 40 cousins," he said.
"My parents still live in Australia, but my mother is from Calbayog in the Samar province of the Philippines, about 475 kilometres from Manila.
“Growing up, I didn’t really know a lot about my Filipino heritage until I finally got to visit. It made me appreciate how important family relationships are in my culture.
“I’m now based out of Western Australia; however, I go back to Nowra as often as I can to see my parents, grab a home-cooked meal and catch up with old school mates,” he said.
The 24-year old Electronics Technician is part of Arunta's team for her North East Asian deployment.
“This deployment is especially important to me as I am able to visit the Philippines again, and I’ll feel proud that my family will get to see me doing my job.
"It will also be a good opportunity to embrace, explore and remember what my background culture is all about,” Able Seaman Scott said.
Able Seaman Scott enjoyed working with computers and electronics so much that he signed up as an Electronics Technician which involved 38 weeks of Initial Technical Training at HMAS Cerberus. Now holding a Certificate IV in Electronics, his job at sea involves maintaining Navigational Aids as well as Sonar Systems.
“I really enjoy the challenge of fault finding and troubleshooting complex systems.
"I’m also the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat Coxswain for the port sea boat,” Able Seaman Scott said.
“My goals in the Navy are to continue to serve at sea and visit as many new overseas ports as possible, and to meet as many new people along the way. If I continue to work hard, hopefully the job I love will turn into a career for many years to come.”
Perhaps that career will have him return to the Philippines as since 2000, the navies have an annual Boarding and Maritime Security Training scenario, Exercise LUMBAS.
Images available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20152733
A sea of firsts for boatswains mate
Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Matthew Parry arrived in Subic Bay in the Philippines today onboard HMAS Arunta which is conducting a port visit as part of the ship’s North East Asian deployment, of which the Philippines is just one of many stops.
The 19 year old has served with the Royal Australian Navy for two years. This is the first deployment overseas for the sailor, the first time he has been to the Philippines and in fact, the first time he has had the chance to visit his Mother in her home country.
Able Seaman Parry was born in Maida Vale in Perth, Western Australia; his Mother was born in the Philippines, in Angeles City, where she now owns a house and where she has been living for the past 15 months.
“Since my mother moved back to the Philippines, I’ve joined the Navy, travelled around Australia and am now currently on this North East Asian deployment on board Arunta,” said Able Seaman Parry.
“Travelling the world while I do my job is why I signed up for the Navy. The port visit to the Philippines will be a great opportunity to meet family I have never met and to see what the culture and the lifestyle is like for my Mother and her family,” he said.
HMA Ships Arunta and Sirius have both arrived in the Philippines, having just come from India, completing the inaugural AUSINDEX15, a bilateral maritime activity between Australia and India, during mid-September and undertaking passage exercises with the Singaporean Navy.
As part of this deployment Able Seaman Parry has also visited Kemaman in Malaysia where he managed to get a spot playing in a combined team of HMAS Arunta and Sirius in a game of soccer against the Malaysian Navy.
“I managed to score a goal; our team’s only goal unfortunately. We ended up losing the match 3-1. But it was a great experience and getting to interact with a foreign navy in a more social setting was a lot of fun,” Able Seaman Parry said.
“On a professional note, conducting exercises with other militaries is an eye opening experience and how we interact is so important - to get the task done as smoothly as we can,” said Able Seaman Parry.
While he is experiencing many firsts on this trip, this is not the first time Able Seaman Parry has been able to conduct exercises with other navies.
Last year he sailed with HMAS Arunta around Australia for his first deployment which included Exercise KAKADU 14, in Darwin, and this year, he was in Darwin once again to participate in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 15.
The Australian ships will have a short port visit in Subic Bay before continuing their Asian deployments.
Images available at: