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08 October 2015

Royal Australian Navy ships in Subic Bay

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.

PHOTO:
HMAS Arunta and Sirius conduct a Replenishment at Sea while enroute to Subic Bay, Philippines

http://philippines.embassy.gov.au/mnla/MR151007.html

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