The Philippine Navy’s first frigate, BRP Gregorio del Pilar, conducted a naval drill off the coast of Bolinao in Pangasinan yesterday before meeting up with her sister ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz.
The Philippines’ new warship arrived in the country Friday following a two-month voyage from the United States.
More than 100 sailors and marines manned their respective battle stations on orders of Commodore Joe Anthony Orbe.
The naval drill was conducted based on an imagined naval threat, sending Navy and Marine troopers to man their respective posts and machineguns aboard the warship.
“This is what we call GQ (general quarters) each time we monitor threats while conducting maritime patrol,” Orbe said.
Del Pilar departed Alava Port in Subic Bay, Zambales at around 11 p.m. Friday for a “meeting engagement” with the Alcaraz.
From Casiguran, Aurora where it was welcomed by Navy officials, the Alcaraz passed the waters of Cagayan Valley, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union before she met up with the Del Pilar in Bolinao, Pangasinan.
BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a Coast Guard cutter, was acquired by the Philippine government under the US government’s defense excess article program in 2011 for P450 million.
After the sea meeting, the two warships sailed through the waters between Panatag Shoal and Zambales on their way to Subic Bay.
President Aquino and other military officials will officially welcome BRP Alcaraz on Tuesday.