FOR three months, Philippine Navy Lt. Bennet Christian Nuevarez will be away from his family to fulfill one of the biggest tasks his profession requires him to do.
His wife Dominie and daughter Pia bade him goodbye yesterday as the Philippine Navy held a sendoff ceremony for service personnel who will be joining the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in Hawaii.
As BRP Davao del Sur moved out of the docking area of Malacañang sa Sugbo yesterday morning, Dominie and Pia waved at Christian while talking to him on the phone.
Although the temporary parting will a challenge, Dominie said her strongest weapon is her faith that her husband will come home safe after his mission.
“I also asked him to pray while he is away from us and pray that he will be home safe after the exercise,” she said.
Nuevarez was among around 700 sailors and marines will join the RIMPAC 18 exercise, which is considered the world’s premier and largest combined naval exercise.
What they’ll do
Commodore Toribio Adaci Jr., commander of the Fleet-Marine Ready Force who also heads the mission, said the RIMPAC exercise is a multilateral naval exercise that covers the full spectrum of naval operations, including disaster response, maritime security operations, sea control, and complex war-fighting.
Adaci said Philippine Navy has been joining the RIMPAC exercise for several years but it will be the first time they are sending their assets, including BRP Davao del Sur, BRP Andres Bonifacio and an Agusta Westland 109 naval helicopter, to the exercise.
“There will be several engagements with the other navies and it will be an opportunity for the Philippine Navy to show their evolving role from a small navy to a bigger navy capable of joining international engagements,” he said.
The exercises will include both drills at sea and on the shores.
Adaci said he is confident that the country’s delegation will perform well during the exercise.
By the end of the activity, Adaci said, the Philippine Navy is expected “to improve its interoperability” with other navies in securing the country.