Philippine Navy

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Philippine Naval Jack

The Philippine Navy (PN) is the naval arm of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Dagat ng Pilipinas. VISION: "By 2030, we shall be a strong and credible Navy that our maritime nation can be proud of." The mission of the Philippine Navy is to organize, train, equip, maintain, develop and deploy forces for prompt and sustained naval and maritime operations in the accomplishment of the AFP mission. And it is supported by its core values of honor, dedication, patriotism, leadership, solidarity and professionalism.

Early History
Philippine Revolution
The need of a naval force was illustrated when the Filipino revolutionaries included a provision in the Biak-na-Bato Constitution that the government could license privately owned-and-operated vessels to attack enemy vessels; i.e., Spanish ships. In the English version of the same constitution, it was stipulated that after the army is organized, another such force should be created for the protection of the coasts of the Philippines and its seas, with a Secretary of the Navy being appointed to head such force. During the Philippine Revolution, General Emilio Aguinaldo formed the Revolutionary Navy, consisting of the Spanish pinnace Magdalo and other steam launches, which were captured from the Spanish forces. The Navy refitted these for war and moved troops, arms, and supplies to the provinces. The Navy played a major role during the raid against the Spanish garrison and powder magazine on Bacoor Bay; it was the first amphibious assault of the Revolutionary Navy. The fleet was later reinforced by merchant ships, including the Taaleño, the Balayan, the Bulusan, and the Purisima Concepcion, which were donated to the Navy. Another significant addition was the 800ton steamer Compania de Filipinas, which belonged to the Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas and was seized by the Cuban Vicente Catalan, who hoisted the Filipino flag on the ship and proclaimed himself Admiral of the Filipino Navy. The Germans then objected to the flying of the Filipino flag and the French, who claimed that they owned the ship, demanded the its return. Aguinaldo continued deploying the navy to various islands of the country to engage the Spanish forces and rally the Filipinos. On June 23, 1898, Aguinaldo officially established the Ministry of Foreign Relations and placed the bureaus of diplomacy, navy, and commerce under it. On September 26, 1898, as tensions with the United States of America grew after the fall of Manila, Aguinaldo appointed Pascual Ledesma as the first Director of the Navy. In October 1898, Commodore George Dewey started confiscating vessels, which were flying the Philippine flag. On January 21, 1899, the Malolos Constitution was passed and made the President of the Republic the commander-in-chief of the Army and the Navy and transferred the Bureau of the Navy from the Ministry of Foreign Relations to the Department of War, which thereafter became known as the Department of War and the Navy. Dewey also began a naval blockade to prevent Aguinaldo's forces from conducting further operations. The Revolutionary Navy was completely decimated by 1901.

Under the American Colonial Government
The American colonial government in the Philippines created the Bureau of the Coast Guard and Transporation, which aimed to maintain peace and order, transport constabulary troops, and guard against smuggling and piracy. The Americans employed many Filipino sailors and they were also integrated in other bureaus such as the Bureaus of Customs and Immigration, Island and Inter-island Transportation, Coast and Geodetic Survey, and Lighthouses.

The Americans also reopened the Escuela Nautica de Manila, which was renamed Philippine Nautical School, which adopted the methods of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. The U.S. Naval Academy accepted its first Filipino recruit in 1919, and Filipinos were able to enlist in the United States Navy, just as they were able to do in the Spanish Navy.

World War II
In 1935, the Commonwealth Government passed the National Defense Act, which aimed to ensure the security of the country. This was criticized because it placed the burden of the defense of the Philippines on ground forces, which in turn, was formed from reservists. It discounted the need for an air force and a navy. When World War II began, the Philippines practically had no navy after the United States pulled the Asiatic Fleet after Pearl Harbor was bombed. The Philippines had to rely on its Off-Shore Patrol, which was composed of high-speed, torpedo-launching craft, to repel attacks from the sea. During the course of World War II, the Off-Shore Patrol conducted attacks in hiding.

Contemporary History
In 1945, after the Philippines was liberated, the Patrol was reactivated and it was strengthened in 1947 after President of the Philippines Manuel Roxas issued Executive Order No. 94, which elevated the Patrol to a major command that was equal with the Army, Constabulary, and Air Force. The Executive Order renamed the Patrol to the Philippine Naval Patrol; Jose Andrada was the first Filipino commodore and chief. In 1950, Secretary of Defense Ramon Magsaysay created a marine batallion with which to carry out amphibious attacks against the Hukbalahap. The next year, President Elpidio Quirino issued Executive Order No. 389, re-designating the Philippine Naval Patrol as the Philippine Navy. It was to be composed of all naval forces, combat vessels, auxilliary craft, naval aircraft, shore installations, and supporting units that were necessary to carry out all functions of the service. In the succeeding decades, the Philippine Navy organized the following units aside from the Marines:
    

Naval Shore Establishment Naval Operating Forces Philippine Coast Guard Home Defense command Military Sealift and Terminal Command.

By the 1960's, the Philippine Navy was one of the best-equipped navies in Asia. Many of the countries that had become independent between World War II and the 1960's, such as Indonesia, sought assistance from the Philippine Navy in organizing their own respective navies. In 1967, the maritime law enforcement functions of the Navy were transferred to the Philippine Coast Guard. For most of the succeeding decades, the government had to shift its attention towards the communist insurgency. This focus forced the government to strengthen the Philippine Army and the Philippine Air Force. Navy operations were confined to blockade, naval gunfire support, and moving troops. In 1992, the United States withdrew from its facilities in the Philippines and, for the first time, the Navy was forced to rely on its own resources. The American withdrawal is now largely seen as the inevitable and natural consequence of the end of the Cold War and the close of bipolarism following the collapse of worldwide communism. The caveat is that it may have also resulted in a security vacuum in a region where tensions owing to deep-seated historic animosities and geopolitical disputes remain rife, a vacuum that may be filled up by next- in – line powers. The pull-out has also drawn renewed attention to Asian flashpoints, such as the Korean Peninsula and the Spratlys, that could bring nations into open conflict in the future. These developments hastened the passage of the AFP Modernization Law by the Congress in 1995 to shore up the defense capabilities of the Philippines. The law remains to this day the best hope of ever realizing a strong and credible naval force that a maritime nation, the Philippines, can be proud of. Modernization is also expected to greatly enhance the Navy’s capacity to fulfill certain non-traditional tasks it has to take on as a result of recent developments. In 1997, the Philippine Navy acquired three Peacock-class vessels from the Royal Navy, after it pulled out from Hong Kong. On March 2004, the

United States of America transferred a naval vessel to the Philippines which was subsequently commissioned on 081500H March 2004 at the Headquarters of the Philippine Navy, on Roxas Boulevard, Manila. Launched in 1992 as the USS Cyclone, the ship was renamed the BRP Gen. Mariano Alvarez; Patrol Ship 38, in honor of one of the revolutionary generals in the Philippine war for independence against Spain. It is the oldest of the 14 Cyclone class Patrol Craft built by the US. (An interesting footnote is that the Cyclone is a modified design from Vosper Thorneycroft of England who built the first modern warships for the Philippines before WW2. The Thorneycroft company built the Philippine Commonwealth's Off-Shore Patrols 40 knot torpedo "Q" boats. These were the Coast Motor Boat (CMB) 55 foot and 65 foot designs.) The Philippine Navy Modernization Program which is included in the AFP Modernization Plan specifies the projects and activities that the Navy will undertake to develop into a respectable armed force that will be able to reasonably provide a credible measure of deterrence. Thus, ensure effective sea control over the country’s maritime areas. The program, in essence, is concentrated on developing certain capabilities, particularly its materiel and technology, in the furtherance of the primary objective of modernizing the Navy both in form and function and in realizing the Philippine Navy vision to become a strong and credible navy that a maritime nation (Philippines) can be proud of in year 2030.

The Philippine Navy is administered through the Department of National Defense (DND). Under the AFP structure, the Chief of Staff, AFP (CSAFP), a four-star, is the most senior military officer. The senior naval officer is the Flag Officer-in-Command (FOIC), usually with a rank of vice-admiral. He or she, along with his or her Air Force and Army counterparts, is junior only to the CSAFP. The FOIC is solely responsible for the administration and operational status of the Navy. Currently the Navy establishment is actually composed of two (2) type commands, the Philippine Fleet and Philippine Marine Corps (PMC). It is further organized into six (6) Naval Operational Comands, six (6) Naval Support Commands, and four (4) Naval Support Units. Considering the vastness of the territorial waters that the Navy has to protect and defend, optimal emplacement of naval resources was achieved through deliberate identification of suitable spots where the presence of naval units are capable of delivering responsive services to the country and people... The Philippine Fleet, or simply the "Fleet", is under the direct command of the FOIC while the Marine Corps is answerable to the Commandant, PMC (CPMC). However, due to the fact that the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) is a large part of the Philippine Navy, the FOIC retains much administrative control over the PMC. With comparatively modern landing ships and a well disciplined but small marine corps, the Philippines should be well-placed to deal with illegal landings. A shortage of air-capable ships (currently there are just two) would suggest pre-emptive and administrative landings rather than opposed assaults against enemy-occupied installations. However, the navy does possess eight landing ships, each carrying two LCVPs, which could well be deployed in small-scale, pre-emptive landings. Six of these ships can each carry 16 MBTs. The basis for a potent amphibious force more likely to be used on home ground rather than overseas, except, perhaps, in the Spratly Islands.

The Philippine Navy has only one fleet, the Philippine Fleet. The Philippine Fleet is synonymous to Philippine Navy. The Navy is the Fleet and the Fleet is the Navy. As such, it also traces its origin to the pre-war Off Shore Patrol (OSP) the forerunner of the Philippine Navy. As a type command, the Fleet has four (4) major units, namely: the Ready Force, Assault Craft Force, Patrol Force, and Service Force; one (1) support group, the Fleet Support Group; and two (2) special units, the Naval Air Group and Naval Special Operation Group.

The Marine Corps is organized into three (3) Marine Brigades; one (1) Marine Reservist Brigade, the 4th Marine Brigade; one (1) Combat Support Brigade, the Combat Service and Support Bigade; one (1) Marine Escort Group, the Marine Security and Escort Group; and various support and independent units. PMC have eleven (11) Marine Battalions which composed the different Marine Brigades.