US submarine tender arrives in Palawan
MANILA, Philippines – US submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) arrived in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan on Saturday, June 11, for a "scheduled port visit," according to the US embassy in Manila.
More than 500 US sailors and mariners, among them Filipino-Americans, will "relax" in the island and spend time doing community service projects.
Palawan is the Philippine province closest to the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and is a jumping-off point for military operations in the area. Movements of military assets there are closely watched because of the tension in the region.
A submarine tender supplies and supports submarines, carrying food and fuel among other maintenance equipment. It departed Guam on June 6, for its "first deployment in more than 14 years in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region."
"Frank Cable is on a scheduled deployment in the US 7th Fleet area of operations to conduct maintenance and support deployed US naval force submarines and surface vessels in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region," according to a separate US Navy statement.
"It has been truly a blessing going back to my homeland," the US embassy statement quoted Filipino-American Machinery Repairman Fireman Carl Paguirigan.
"The last time I was here was December 2014 when I spent Christmas with my family. I plan on surprising my mother; she's dying to know when I'll be coming back. I cannot wait to taste my mother's home cooking again," Paguirigan added.
Increased US military presence is expected in the Philippines as the two countries implement the military-to-military agreement, Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, that allows the US to build facilities and preposition assets inside military bases of its former colony. – Rappler.com