November 18, 2020 – The Philippine Navy’s (PN) corvette, the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39), conducted a passing exercise (Passex) with two ships of the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) on Manila waters on Tuesday.
In a statement on Wednesday, Navy public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, said the ROKN Cruise Training Group, consisting of ROKS Kang Gam-chan (DDH-979) and ROKS Soyang (AOE-51), travels all over the world to visit various ports.
“With the prevailing pandemic, however, the ROKN opted for an at-sea exercise with the PN on their way to Malaysia in lieu of a port visit,” she added.
The Passex is a customary undertaking to ensure that vessels and aircraft communicate and cooperate.
It is also a form of rendering honors to transiting foreign naval vessels and affirms the strong ties between the Philippines and South Korea.
Roxas said the BRP Conrado Yap established communications with the ROKN ships at about 10 a.m., which was followed by low-altitude flybys by Philippine Air Force FA-50 PH jet fighters.
“Part of the exercise was the transport of the South Korean-donated 10,000 pieces of face masks and 2,000 pieces of hand sanitizers to PS-39 through rigid inflatable boats. The gesture was inspired by South Korea’s deep appreciation of the Philippines for being the first Asian country to send troops in their support during the Korean War in 1950,” she said.
This was followed by the three ships’ tactical maneuvers that culminated in a farewell sail.
The ROKN has been among the key defense partners of the Navy with their contributions to the latter’s modernization.
Most recent among these was the transfer of the former Pohang-class corvette, now the BRP Conrado Yap, to the Navy in 2019.