Being a former US naval base, Subic seats in a strategic place for military operations and humanitarian efforts. It is no wonder that some naval fleets from the United States and other countries have visited here.
Two of the latest fighting vessels to have set its anchor in Subic Bay was the Japanese helicopter carrier JS Izumo and its escort JS Sazanami, a guided missile destroyer.
The two vessels docked last June 4 on Subic for a goodwill visit that lasted for four days, according to a Subic news.
Among the activities in the four-day visit are confidence building engagements between Philippine Navy (PN) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) personnel such as a courtesy call to the head of the Philippine Fleet Rear Admiral Gaudencio Collado.
Also included in the schedule are shipboard tour aboard Japanese vessels, goodwill games, reciprocal receptions, and fun run between PN and JMSDF crew members as well as a send-off ceremony.
Moreover, the visit was aimed to boost the already firm relationship between the PN and JMSDF. The visit further fostered and sustained the promotion of peace, stability, and maritime cooperation between the Philippines and Japan via naval diplomacy and friendship.
No less than the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte headed the inspection of JS Izumo, Japan’s largest naval ship, and its escort. Duterte said he was the first foreign head of state to set foot on the vessel.
The president also mentioned that the ship would be a great part of disaster response efforts as well as humanitarian missions in Japan and its neighbours in Asia.
JS Izumo weighs about 27,000 tons and measures 248 metres long.
The two vessels are among (JMSDF) Escort Flotilla One, according to Navy spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna in a Subic news report.
The vessel of PN, BRP Raja Humabon, escorted the two vessels to the docking area.
The construction of JS Izumo was finished on Jan. 27, 2012. She was launched on Aug. 6, 2013. The ship started its sea trials on Sept. 29, 2014 and was commissioned on March 25, 2015. For other reports in the Bay check out Subic news.