Hawaii-bound Navy sailors celebrate Independence Day on high seas

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MANILA (June 12)  — The two Philippine Navy (PN) ships, now en route to the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval maneuvers in Hawaii, celebrated the country’s 120th Independence Day with simultaneous flag-raising and divine service.

This was disclosed by PN spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna in a message Tuesday.

“The PN contingent led by the Commander Naval Task Force (NTF) RIMPAC, Capt. Ernesto O. Baldovino, celebrated the country’s 120th Independence Day while en route to the RIMPAC 2018 exercise in Honolulu, Hawaii. The commemoration kicked off with a simultaneous raising of the flag followed by a divine service on board BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17) and BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602),” Lincuna added.

Both ships also sailed in formation with the BRP Andres Bonifacio rendering water cannon salute in honor of the event.

Also, sailors and marines aboard the BRP Davao Del Sur formed on the flight deck the word “NAVY” and the Philippine flag, which was captured by the hovering AW-109 helicopter.

Baldovino, in his speech, reiterated the country’s rich tradition of courage and patriotism that every sailor and marine of the flotilla carries as it proudly represents the country and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to the world’s largest international naval exercise.

Lincuna said the celebration was capped with a “boodle fight”, a meal shared by sailors and marines across the rank as a manifestation of unity and camaraderie.

Sailing with the PN ships is the Royal Malaysian Navy Ship KD Lekiu.

All of the above-mentioned vessels left Cebu for Hawaii last June 6.

Lincuna added that the naval vessels will have a brief stopover at Kwajelin Atoll before sailing to Honolulu, Hawaii. Navies from Indonesia, Japan and India will be meeting along the way and will sail together to participate in RIMPAC 2018.

They are expected to arrive in Honolulu this coming June 25.

“The PN’s participation in RIMPAC18 underscores the Command’s commitment in promoting multilateral cooperation to further strengthen relationship among participating navies of the world,” Lincuna said. -PNA

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