By Priam Nepomuceno

UPHOLDING STABILITY. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces’ JS Kirisame (DD-104) and the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Montreal (FFH 336) sail alongside the US Navy’s USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) during the multilateral maritime cooperative activity in the West Philippine Sea on June 16, 2024. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday (June 18, 2024) said the Gregorio del Pilar-class patrol ship BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17) joined the drills. (Photo courtesy of US Navy MC1 Jamaal Liddell)

MANILA – Naval vessels of the Philippines, Canada, Japan, and the United States held a second multilateral maritime cooperative activity (MMCA) within the West Philippine Sea (WPS), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced on Tuesday.

AFP public affairs office chief Col. Xerxes Trinidad, in a statement, said the collaboration of warships from the Philippine Navy, US Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces (JMSDF), and Royal Canadian Navy on June 16 during the MMCA was a success.

“The multilateral operation included the AFP’s Gregorio del Pilar-class patrol ship BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17), the US Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ‘Murasame’-class destroyer JS Kirisame (DD-104), and the Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH-336),” he added.

Meanwhile, AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. noted that the exercise highlights the commitment of the AFP and its allies to maintain peace and security in the Indo-Pacific Region.

“This collaboration enhances our capabilities and interoperability with allies and partners, enabling us to effectively address common maritime challenges and demonstrate our shared dedication to upholding international law and the rules-based international order, as well as ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he added.

The first MMCA took place in April, which involved the PN, US Navy, Royal Australian Navy, and the JMSDF. (PNA)