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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. The creation of the OSP was an offshoot of a news report that a “mystery flotilla” was sighted conducting maneuvers OFF Davao Golf on 10 April 1938. Acting on the news report, President Quezon ordered on the creation of the Off Shore Patrol (OSP) as a unit of the Philippine Army and handpicked Major Rafael Ramos to organize the new unit. Assisting him was Lt. Jose V. Andrada USNA’30 who was designated later as the acting Chief OSP on 18 June 1938 when the former was sent to the US for a Quartermaster schooling. On 04 December 1941 few days before the war broke Capt Enrique Jurado, OSP, PA took over the helm of the Off Shore Patrol. When War broke out in the pacific, on 08 December 1941, this fledging fleet, composed of fast and highly maneuverable motor torpedo boats known as Qboats, was committed against the Japanese Imperial Navy. Undaunted by enemy superiority, the ubiquitous patrol boats fought with zeal, courage and heroism hitting Japanese warships with torpedos when given the opportunity. Because of its intrepid and successful raids on enemy ships, the squadron was dubbed the “Mosquito Fleet” mainly because of its manuscule size and its capability to attack with a deadly sting. The squadron relied on speed and surprise to attack larger vessels at close range. As a result, 65 percent of its men were awarded the Silver Star Medal and other decorations for gallantry in action. This is a heroic legacy that the Philippine Fleet cherishes, perpetuates and lives by to this day and onward. After the war, Off Shore Patrol (OSP) was redesignated as Philippine Naval Patrol (PNP) on 24 October 1947 pursuant to GO Nr 228 issued by then General Jalandoni. Under this reorganization law of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Naval Patrol was elevated as one of its major command. After ironing out every detail of the reorganization as mandated by the Executive order, the Philippine naval Patrol was formally organized on 02 June 1948. Col Jose V. Andrada was designated as commander, Philippine Naval Patrol. This title of his rank was later changed to Navy Captain, by authority of Sec 18 of Executive Order Nr 94. The Philippine Navy Patrol expanded with the integration of Marine Battalion, Underwater operations Unit, and Naval Air Unit to the Command. As it acquired bigger patrol and transport ships, the Patrol Force and the Service Force was also created. Then pursuant to Executive Order No. 389 dated 23 Dec. 1950, the Armed Forces of the Philippines were reorganized into four major commands. The Executive Order likewise mandated the change of designation from the Philippine Naval Patrol to Philippine Navy.
THE BIRTH OF THE PHILIPPINE FLEET Naval Operating Forces/Naval Defense Force
On 22 Aug 1960, with the expansion of the Philippine Navy Organization, the Naval Operating Forces was activated as a major unit pursuant to HPN GO Nr 14 to become the main fighting arm of the Philippine navy. Units as well as their missions absorbed by the Naval Operating Forces and the Service Force (later deactivated on 16 Mar 1963), together with the marine Battalion, Underwater Operations UNIT< Naval Air Unit, and Small Craft Unit. The first commander was Capt Juan Magluyan PN (GSC). Through the years, the Naval Operating Forces grew and expanded with the acquisition of more vessels of various types. The Fleet underwent several reorganizations as the missions varied. New units were added such as the AntiSubmarine Force, the reactivated Service Force, Coast Guard Force, Mine Force and Ready Force. A year after the declaration of Martial Law in 1972, the Ready Force and the Marine Battalion were separated from the Naval Operating Forces. These became major units of the Philippine Navy. On April 22, 1976, the Naval Operating Force (NOF) became the Naval Defense Forces (NDF) with Capt Leonardo G. Bugayong PN (GSC) as its first commander. A complete revamp of the organization set-up of the Naval Defense Forces was undertaken in order to make it more responsive to its new mission and to meet the increasing requirements of the new PN command.
An offshoot of the organization was the adoption of the Type Command concept, which called for the activation of three major units the Patrol Escort Force, the Service Force and the Special Operation Force. (SOF). The SOF took under the command the Small Craft Squadron and the Underwater Operations Group-, which later became a Naval Craft Force and Naval Special Warfare Group respectively. Under this new set-up, the following units were also
subsequently activated. Naval Air Group, Service Support Group, Material Support Group and Maintenance repair Group. On the other hand, on 22 April 1976 the Amphibious Strike Group was activated and under the operational control of Ready force 9a special unit under FOIC, PN) The turnover of the US Naval Station, Sangley point to the Philippine government on 10 Sept 1971 precipitated the birth of the sea-lift-Amphibious Command. Its operation was an offshoot of the expansion of the Philippine Navy and its increasing mandate in its socio-economic development program through transport and sealift missions. The forerunner of Sealift-amphibious Command (SAC) was the AFP Terminal Command (AFPTC), which was activated on 09 Jan 1972 serving as the logistic support base of the AFP under the administrative and operational control of theft Logistics Center. On 06 June 1972 the Chief of Staff General Romeo C. Espino AFP transferring the administrative and operational control of AFPTC to AFP Logistics Center to the Philippine Navy issued General Orders Nr. 561. As a result several transport vessels of the navy were assigned to the unit thereby expanding transport capability. On 05 Dec. 1973, pursuant to GO Nr. 133 HPN, the Command was reorganized and subsequently renamed the Military Sealift and Terminal Command (MSTC) as one major unit of the Philippine Navy. Later the Command was designated as the Sea lift-Amphibious Command after all amphibious vessels and crafts of the then Naval Operating Forces were transferred to Military Sealift Terminal command on 01 July 1976. The Philippine Fleet today On 01 March 1988, the Naval defense Forces (NDF) and the SealiftAmphibious Command (SAC) were merged as one command. All the personnel, equipment and facilities of the two deactivated units were transferred and assigned to Philippine Fleet. Its Headquarters was set up at the former SealiftAmphibious Command Headquarters at Naval Base Cavite, Sangley Point, Cavite City. Commo Juanito G. Cortez AFP was designated as the first commander. The reorganized Philippine Fleet meet bigger challenges as well as to enable it to perform more effectively its role in naval defense and in support to national development efforts. Today, as a type command, the Fleet has major units, namely: the Ready Force, Patrol Force, Service Force and Fleet Support Group and special units, Naval Air Group, Naval Special Warfare Group and Fleet Training Group.
THE COMMANDANTS NAVAL OPERATING FORCES 1. CAPT JUAN B. MAGLAYAN PN (GSC) 2. CAPT SANTIAGO C. NOVAL PN (GSC) 3. CAPT EMILIO S. LIWANAG PN (GSC) 4. CAPT FELIX M. APOLINARIO PN (GSC) 5. COMMO RAMON A. ALCARAZ AFP 6. COMMO HERACLEO J. ALANO AFP 7. COMMO PASTOR G. VIADO AFP 8. COMMO DIOSCORO E. PAPA NAVAL DEFENSE FORCES 1. CAPT LEONARDO G. BUGAYONG PN (GSC) 2. CAPT DANTE Q. DE GUZMAN PN (GSC) 3. COMMO TAGUMAY R. JARDINI AFP 4. COMMO ERNESTO S. RAMOS AFP SEALIFT-AMPHIBIOUS COMMAND (01 Jan 1972 – 01 Mar 1988) 1. COMMO GENARO M. FRIAS AFP 2. COMMO DANTE R. GONZAGA AFP 3. COMMO PONCIANO T. BAUTISTA AFP 4. COMMO ROBERTO M AMPIG AFP 5. CAPT RUBEN G. DELA CRUZ PN (GSC) 6. COMMO ISMAEL D. APARI AFP 7. COMMO GEORGE D. TEMPLO AFP PHILIPPINE FLEET (01 Mar 1988 to present) 1. COMMO JUANITO G. CORTEZ AFP 2. COMMO PROCESO C. FERNANDEZ AFP 3. COMMO MARIAO J. DUMANCAS AFP 4. COMMO DARIO T. FAJARDO AFP 5. COMMO EDUARDO I. TOLENTINO AFP 6. COMMO ANTONIO G. SURATO AFP 7. COMMO NICASIO A. BLANCAS AFP 8. RADM ERIBERTO C. VARONA AFP 9. COMMO DANTE Z. RUIZ AFP 10. RADM NAPOLEON C. BAYLON AFP 11. RADM ERLINDO A EROLIN AFP 12. COMMO RUBEN G. DOMINGO AFP 13. RADM JOAQUIN Y. TAN AFP 14. RADM GILMER B. BATESTIL AFP
ACCOMPLISHMENT REPORT The Philippine Fleet’s mission is to prepare and operate assigned forces for naval operations in order to support the PN accomplish its mission. Its general objectives are to optimize operational readiness and combat effectiveness of equipment and personnel and effectively manage available resources through efficient internal administration. The specific functions of the Fleet are, First, to provide assets that will conduct continuous naval patrol, sea control and amphibious operations in order to defend the sovereignty of the country, its territorial waters and EEZ from foreign aggression, intrusion and exploitation. Second, to assist in the conduct of national security operations and ensure safety and security of coastal areas. Third, to employ assets to assist in the conduct of disaster response, particularly maritime search and rescue and patrol, sealift and other type of operations as directed.
Fleet assets were able to detect and apprehend numerous lawless elements engaging in illegal maritime activities. These operations were conducted while vessels and aircraft were enroute to their designated Area of Operations and while still under the OPCON of PHILFLT. And to include some of its major accomplishment are as follows: 1. Conducted and participated in search and rescue operation on M/V Princess of the Orient when it sank at vicinity of Carabao Island last Sept 1998. 2. Conducted search and rescue operation for ill-fated PAF. Nomad aircraft carrying COMWESCOM and party last 03 Jul 2000. 3. The Fleet organized an Amphibious Task Force (ATF), composed of Transport and Patrol ships, Patrol Gunboats, aircraft and NSWG Teams to undertake amphibious operations in order to rescue the hostages of the Abu sayyaf Group (ASG) 4. The fleet ably supported the Joint Task Force Trident by deploying assets to support the conduct of Maritime negation and Patrol particularly in the island of Jolo. 5. Planned and executed all major activities in connection with the retirement of VADM FERNANDEZ AFP to wit commissioning of PG-395, Testimonial Parade and Thanksgiving Night last 20 Nov. 2000. The Fleet has greatly contributed in the Navy firm commitments in promoting regional security through the conduct of Bilateral Exercises with the US, Indonesia and Malaysia navies and PASSEXes with the other visiting foreign navies. Among the notable Bilateral Exercises conducted are as follows:
1. CARAT’98with USS mobile Bay on 05 Aug 1998. 2. CARAT’99 participated by PS –37, PS-31, PG 392, DF-342 and PNI- 304 from 03 May to 01 Jun 1999. 3. PALAH 01-’99 participated by four (4) officers and twenty (20) enlisted personnel from the NSWG and its USN personnel counterpart from 03-21 May 1999. 4. MARSURVEX with USN P-3C Orion aircraft participated PNI-304 and PAF OV 10 on 01 Jun 1999 5. RANFCPKAKADU 4’99 participated by PS17 and IC –550 at Darwin Australia from 20 Jul to 13 Aug 1999. 6. Joint RP-US Military Training Exercise (BALIKATAN 2000) from 21 Feb-04 Mar 2000. 7. CARAT 2000 from 13 – 20 June 2000 8. Exercise LUMBAS from 15 –22 Sep 2000. 9. MARSURVEX from 25-29 Sep 2000. 10. MALPHILAUT3/2000 from 13 – 22 Nov 2000. 11. Flshpiston FROM 04-25 Aug 2000. 12. CORPAT PHILINDO from 09 – 14 Oct 2000 The Fleet also emphasized the value of ship and crew readiness by providing support during the conduct of the following:
- JFTX (SANGHAYA99) participated by LT –516,DF339,PNI323 and one (1) officer and seven (7) enlisted personnel from NSWG. - Boat Handling Exercise of 143rd NOQC “B” using DF 339 from 07 – 09 Jul 1999 AT manila Bay - PAGSASAMA99 – 1 Exercise participated by PS-70, PS-19 and PG 104 at Bohol and Cebu on 05 Aug 1999. - GUNNEX participated by PS-70,PS-31,PG-102,PG-381,PG-393, LC 551(viewing flatform) DF-321 and DF 340 (marshal craft) on 13 Aug 1999 - In-service Training/OJT of PMA CL 99 Midshipmen from 14 Dec 1998 to 07 Feb 1999. - Sea Phase Training of 143rd NOQC “B” from 19 Jan to 01 Feb 1999. - Sea phase Training of 198th BSC from 01-07 Mar 1999.(1st Batch) and 0813 Mar 1999 (2nd Batch) - Summer Shipboard Training of 179 PMM FROM 19-20 Apr 1999 - Summer Shipboard Training og NS-43 Midshipmen from 07 Apr- 04 Jun
1999. - Fleet Training Cruise from 02 Oct –03 Nov 2000.
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