01 April 2016

Subic Bay to host US, Japanese navy ships

Subic Bay will be host to around ten navy ships from the United States and Japan when they make their port calls here from April 1-3.

Expected to arrive today (April 1) at the Port of Subic are the landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49) and dry cargo ship USNS Matthew Perry (T-AKE-9). Arriving tomorrow (April 2) are supply ship USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE-2), dry cargo ship USNS Maj. Stephen W. Pless (T-AK-3007), oiler USNS Walter S. Diehl (T-AO-193).

Also arriving tomorrow is the Arleigh Burke-Class destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DGG-62). These US Navy ships will be in Subic Bay as logistics support to the on-going Balikatan exercises.

Meanwhile, a Japanese submarine and two vessels will be arriving this Sunday in the Freeport for a goodwill visit to the Philippines. This will be the first time in 15 years that a Japanese submarine visits the country.

In a statement, Capt. Lued Lincuna, spokesman for the Philippine Navy, said that the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) is sending its Destroyer Escort Division 15 and Training Submarine Division 1 to Subic Bay for a goodwill visit and port call.

Composed of two JMSDF vessels, namely, JS Ariake (DD-109) and JS Setogiri (DD-156), the Destroyer Escort Division 15 is headed by Capt. Haruhiko Morisita.

On the other hand, the JMSDF submarine JS Oyashio (SS-511) is led by Capt. Hiroaki Yoshino.

The three JMSDF seacraft are expected to arrive at the Alava Pier in Subic Bay at around 9 a.m. They will be staying in Subic Bay until April 6.

The visit of JMSDF assets came amid the tension in the disputed East and South China Seas. Japan is engaged in a dispute with China over Senkaku Island in East China Sea.

On the other hand, the Philippines is tangled in a tense dispute with Beijing over the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea. (RBB, AMD/MPD-SBMA)

Port of Subic (file photo)

Related article: First visit to PH after 15 years: Japanese submarine to make port call in Subic Bay