Philippine Navy

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Philippine Navy
Hukbong Dagat ng Pilipinas
Seal of the Philippine Navy.png
Seal of the Philippine Navy
FoundedMay 20, 1898;123 years ago (1898-05-20) [1]
CountryFlag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines
Type Navy
Size25,000 active personnel
(including 12,500 Marines) [2]
15,000 Reserve Personnel
81 combat ships
12 auxiliary ships
25 aircraft
8 unmanned aerial vehicles
Part ofFlag of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.svg Armed Forces of the Philippines
HeadquartersNaval Station Jose Andrada, Roxas Boulevard, Manila
Motto(s)"Protecting the Seas, Securing our Future"
Colors Navy Blue 
Equipment List of Philippine Navy equipment
Commander-in-ChiefFlag of the President of the Philippines.svg President Rodrigo Duterte
Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana
Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Gen. Jose C. Faustino Jr., PA
Flag Officer in-Command, Philippine Navy VADM Adeluis S. Bordado, PN
Vice Commander, Philippine Navy MGen Nestor C. Herico, PN (M)
Chief of the Naval Staff RADM Nichols A. Driz, PN
Command Master Chief of the Navy MCPO Rosimalu D. Galgao, PN
Ensign and Jack Flag of the Philippines.svg
Pennant Masthead Pennant of the Philippines.svg
Flag Flag of the Philippine Navy.svg
Patch Philippine Navy Battledress patch.svg

The Philippine Navy (PN) (Filipino : Hukbong Dagat ng Pilipinas) is the naval warfare service branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It has an estimated strength of 50,000 active service personnel, including the 37,500-strong Philippine Marine Corps. [2] It operates 81 combat ships, 12 auxiliary ships, 25 aircraft and 8 unmanned aerial vehicles. It shares the responsibility of patrolling the maritime borders with the Philippine Coast Guard, a formerly attached unit which became a separate maritime law enforcement agency in 1998.



Pre-colonial period

Before the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines the ancient native people were already engaging in naval warfare, raiding, trade, piracy, travel and communication using various vessels including balangay. [3] A flotilla of balangay was discovered in the late 1970s in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte. [4]

A Karakoa ancient warship with Lantaka cannons Caracoa (Karakoa).jpg
A Karakoa ancient warship with Lantaka cannons

Native Philippine warships, such as the Karakoa or Korkoa, were of excellent quality and some of them were used by the Spaniards in expeditions against rebellious tribes and Dutch and British forces. Some of the larger rowed vessels held up to a hundred rowers on each side besides a contingent of armed troops. Generally, the larger vessels held at least one lantaka at the front of the vessel or another one placed at the stern. Philippine sailing ships called praos had double sails that seemed to rise well over a hundred feet from the surface of the water. Despite their large size, these ships had double outriggers. Some of the larger sailing ships, however, did not have outriggers. [5]

Antecedent to this raids, sometime between A.D. 1174 and 1190, a traveling Chinese government bureaucrat Chau Ju-Kua reported that a certain group of "ferocious raiders of China's Fukien coast" which he called the "Pi-sho-ye," believed to have lived on the southern part of Formosa. In A.D. 1273, another work written by Ma Tuan Lin, which came to the knowledge of non-Chinese readers through a translation made by the Marquis D’Hervey de Saint-Denys, gave reference to the Pi-sho-ye raiders, thought to have originated from the southern portion of Formosa. However, the author observed that these readers spoke a different language and had an entirely different appearance (presumably when compared to the inhabitants of Formosa).

In the Battle of Manila in 1365 is an unspecified and disputed battle occurring somewhere in the vicinity of Manila between the forces of the Kingdoms in Luzon and the Empire of Majapahit.[ citation needed ]

Even though the exact dates and details of this battle remain in dispute, there are claims of the conquest of the area around Saludong (Majapahit term[ citation needed ] for Luzon and Manila) according to the text Nagarakretagama [6]

Nevertheless, there may have been a battle for Manila that occurred during that time but it was likely a victory for Luzon's kingdoms considering that the Kingdom of Tondo had maintained its independence and was not enslaved under another ruler. Alternatively, Luzon may have been successfully invaded but was able to regain its independence later. [7] [8]

The Battle of Bangkusay, on June 3, 1571, was a naval engagement that marked the last resistance by locals to the Spanish Empire's occupation and colonization of the Pasig River Delta, which had been the site of the indigenous polities of Rajahnate of Maynila and Tondo. Tarik Sulayman, the chief of Macabebes, refused to ally with the Spanish and decided to mount an attack at Bangkusay Channel on Spanish forces, led by Miguel López de Legazpi. Tarik Sulayman's forces were defeated, and Sulayman himself was killed. The Spanish victory in Bangkusay and Legazpi's alliance with Lakandula of Tondo, enabled the Spaniards to establish themselves throughout the city and its neighboring towns.

Spanish colonial period

During the Spanish colonial period, the Spanish forces were entirely responsible for the defense and general order of the archipelago, the Spanish naval forces conducts maritime policing in the seas as well as providing naval logistics to the Army. In the early years of Spanish colonial era, most of the formations of the naval forces were composed of conquistadors backed with native auxiliaries.

Illustration of a late 17th-century Karakoa warship carrying the Spanish Empire flag serving as auxiliary force vessel from Historia de las islas e indios de Bisayas (1668), this warship were known as joangas (also spelled juangas) by the Spanish. Joangan, or the Spanish-built Joanga.jpg
Illustration of a late 17th-century Karakoa warship carrying the Spanish Empire flag serving as auxiliary force vessel from Historia de las islas e indios de Bisayas (1668), this warship were known as joangas (also spelled juangas) by the Spanish.

Aside from Spanish Navy galleons, brigantines, galleys and other vessels, locally built Manila galleons were among the ships that composed the fleet tasked of protecting the archipelago from foreign and local invaders. Most of the personnel manning the ships are Filipinos while the officers are of Spanish descent.[ citation needed ]

The two Manila Galleons--the Encarnacion and Rosario--which were hastily converted to warships to meet the superior Dutch armada of 18 vessels during the battles of La Naval de Manila in 1646. (From an artist's conception) Encarnacion and Rosario.jpg
The two Manila Galleons—the Encarnacion and Rosario--which were hastily converted to warships to meet the superior Dutch armada of 18 vessels during the battles of La Naval de Manila in 1646. (From an artist's conception)

The Battles of La Naval de Manila were among the earliest naval conflict in the Spanish Philippines. It was a series of five naval battles fought in the waters of the Spanish East Indies in the year 1646, in which the forces of the Spanish Empire repelled various attempts by forces of the Dutch Republic to invade Manila, during the Eighty Years' War. The Spanish forces, consisted of two, and later, three Manila galleons, a galley and four brigantines. They neutralized a Dutch fleet of nineteen warships, divided into three separate squadrons. Heavy damage was inflicted upon the Dutch squadrons by the Spanish forces, forcing the Dutch to abandon their invasion of the Philippines.

By the 18th and 19th centuries, the sailors were already composed of mixed Spanish and Filipino personnel, as well as volunteer battalions composed of all-Filipino volunteers. Filipinos made up a large part of Spain's overseas forces including the Royal Spanish Navy.

Philippine revolution

At the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution, the Filipino members of the Spanish Army and Navy mutinied. Switching allegiance from Spain to the Philippines, instead.

The Republic's need for a naval force was first provided for by Filipino revolutionaries when they included a provision in the Biák-na-Bató Constitution. This authorised the government to permit privateers to engage foreign enemy vessels. [9]

(w)hen the necessary army is organized … for the protection of the coasts of the Philippine archipelago and its seas; then a secretary of the navy shall be appointed and the duties of his office added to this Constitution.

Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo on the Biák-na-Bató Constitution [9]

On May 1, 1898, the first ship handed by Admiral George Dewey to the Revolutionary Navy is a small pinnace from the Reina Cristina of Admiral Patricio Montojo, which was named Magdalo. [9]

The Philippine Navy was established during the second phase of the Philippine Revolution when General Emilio Aguinaldo formed the Revolutionary Navy which was initially composed of a small fleet of eight Spanish steam launches captured from the Spaniards. The ships were refitted with 9-centimeter guns. The rich, namely Leon Apacible, Manuel Lopez and Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio, later donated five other vessels of greater tonnage, the Taaleño, the Balayan, the Bulusan, the Taal and the Purísima Concepción. The 900-ton inter-island tobacco steamer further reinforced the fleet, Compania de Filipinas (renamed as the navy flagship Filipinas), steam launches purchased from China and other watercraft donated by wealthy patriots. [9] [10]

Naval stations were later established to serve as ships' home bases in the following: [10]

  • Ports of Aparri
  • Ports of Legazpi
  • Ports of Balayan
  • Ports of Calapan
  • Ports of San Roque, Cavite

On September 26, 1898, Aguinaldo appointed Captain Pascual Ledesma (a merchant ship captain) as Director of the Bureau of the Navy, assisted by Captain Angel Pabie (another merchant ship captain). After passing of the Malolos Constitution the Navy was transferred from the Ministry of Foreign Relations to the Department of War (thereafter known as the Department of War and the Navy) headed by Gen. Mariano Trías. [9] [10]

As the tensions between Filipinos and Americans erupted in 1899 and a continued blockade on naval forces by the Americans, the Philippine naval forces started to be decimated. [9]

American colonial period

A U.S. Navy Vought O2U Corsair floatplane flying over the Cavite Navy Yard, c. 1930 Vought O2U Corsair over Cavite in 1930.jpg
A U.S. Navy Vought O2U Corsair floatplane flying over the Cavite Navy Yard, c. 1930

The American colonial government in the Philippines created the Bureau of the Coast Guard and Transportation, which aimed to maintain peace and order, transport Philippine Constabulary troops throughout the archipelago, and guard against smuggling and piracy. The Americans employed many Filipino sailors in this bureau and in the Bureaus of Customs and Immigration, Island and Inter-Island Transportation, Coast and Geodetic Survey, and Lighthouses. They also reopened the former Spanish colonial Escuela Nautica de Manila, which was renamed the Philippine Nautical School, adopting the methods of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. The U.S. Naval Academy accepted its first Filipino midshipman in 1919, and Filipinos were able to enlist in the U.S. Navy, just as they were formerly able to do in the Spanish Navy. [9]

World War II and Japanese occupation (1941–1945)

Sangley Point Cavite Navy Yard burning after a Japanese air attack on December 10, 1941. Small-arms shells explode (left) and a torpedo-loaded barge (center) burns. Cavite Navy Yard burning 10 Dec 1941.jpg
Sangley Point Cavite Navy Yard burning after a Japanese air attack on December 10, 1941. Small-arms shells explode (left) and a torpedo-loaded barge (center) burns.
Mariveles Naval Section Base was used by the US Navy's Asiatic Fleet during the Second World War. Naval Base Mariveles.jpg
Mariveles Naval Section Base was used by the US Navy's Asiatic Fleet during the Second World War.

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 a Commonwealth air force and navy, and naval protection was provided by the United States Asiatic Fleet. [9]

"A relatively small fleet of such vessels, ...will have distinct effect in compelling any hostile force to approach cautiously and by small detachments."

Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Military Advisor to the Philippines regarding the newest Offshore Patrol (OSP) PT boats [11]

When World War II began, the Philippines had no significant naval forces after the United States withdrew the Asiatic Fleet following the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Philippines had to rely on its Offshore Patrol (OSP) Force with headquarters located at Muelle Del Codo, Port Area, Manila, composed of five high-speed Thorneycroft Coast Motor Boat (CMB) 55-foot (17 m) and 65-foot (20 m) PT boats, also known as Q-boats, to repel Japanese attacks from the sea. [9] [10]

During the course of the war, the OSP were undaunted by the enemy's superiority which they fought with zeal, courage and heroism. For its intrepid and successful missions and raids on enemy ships, the unit was dubbed the "Mosquito Fleet" mainly because of its minuscule size, speed and surprise, it showed its capability to attack with a deadly sting. The unit was cited for gallantry in action when its Q-boats Squadron shot three of nine Japanese dive bombers as they were flying towards shore installations in Bataan. [12] The OSP participated in the evacuation of high Philippine and U.S. government officials from Manila to Corregidor when Manila was declared an open city. [13] Surviving personnel of the Offshore Patrol that didn't surrender after April 9, 1942 to the Japanese, conducted the recognized guerrilla and local military troops of the Philippine Commonwealth Army were hit-and-run attacks against the occupying Japanese forces until the return of U.S. Forces. [9] By the end of the war, 66 percent of its men were awarded the Silver Star Medal and other decorations for gallantry in action.

Post-war period (1945–1992)

RPS Rajah Soliman (D-66) served as the flagship of the Philippine Navy from 1960 to 1964. RPS Rajah Soliman D-66.jpg
RPS Rajah Soliman (D-66) served as the flagship of the Philippine Navy from 1960 to 1964.

In 1945, after the liberation of the Philippines, the OSP was reactivated and led by Major Jose Andrada, to reorganize and rebuild from a core of surviving OSP veterans, plus additional recruits. The OSP was strengthened in 1947 after President of the Philippines Manuel Roxas issued Executive Order No. 94. This order elevated the Patrol to a major command that was equal with the Philippine Army, Constabulary, and Air Force. The OSP was renamed the Philippine Naval Patrol, later on changed its name again to the Philippine Navy on January 5, 1951. The first commanding officer of the Navy, Jose Andrada, became its first Commodore and Chief. [9] [10] This was also the year when the naval aviation arm of the Navy was formed, now the Naval Air Group.

In 1950, Secretary of Defense Ramon Magsaysay created a marine battalion with which to carry out amphibious attacks against the Communist Hukbalahap movement. 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 and marine forces, combat vessels, auxiliary craft, naval aircraft, shore installations, and supporting units that were necessary to carry out all functions of the service. [9]

Naval Base Subic Bay during the US military presence in the Philippines. Ships docked at the U.S. Naval Station Subic Bay, Philippines, on 28 August 1981 (6352680).jpg
Naval Base Subic Bay during the US military presence in the Philippines.

The Philippine Navy participated in the Korean War, providing Combat Service Support and Escort Operations and in the Vietnam War Transporting the Philippine Contingent In January 1958, the Navy conducted its first US-Philippine naval exercise since the country's 1946 liberation. The exercise was known as Operation "Bulwark One" or Exercise "Bulwark", an harbor defense exercise which commanded by a Philippine naval officer as its overall commander. By the 1960s, the Philippine Navy was one of the best-equipped navies in Southeast Asia. In 1967, the maritime law enforcement functions of the Navy were transferred to the Philippine Coast Guard. The duties stayed with the coast guard and in the 1998 it became an independent service under the Office of the President and later on the Department of Transportation. [9] After the 1960s, the government had to shift its attention towards the Communist insurgency and this led to the strengthening of the Philippine Army and the Philippine Air Force while naval operations were confined to troop transport, naval gunfire support, and blockade. [9]

The fate of the US military bases in the country was greatly affected by the end of the Cold War, aside from the catastrophic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 which engulfed the installations with ash and lava flows. The nearby Clark Air Base was eventually abandoned afterwards, while the Philippine Senate voted to reject a new treaty for Subic Naval Complex, its sister American installation in Zambales. This occurrence had effectively ended the century-old US military presence in the country, even as President Corazon Aquino tried to extend the lease agreement by calling a national referendum, leaving a security vacuum in the region and terminated the inflows of economic and military aid into the Philippines. [14] [15]

Contemporary period (1992–present)

Concerns about the Chinese incursion to the sea features claimed by the Philippines and other Southeast Asian states were arises after the Chinese construction of a military outpost at the Mischief Reef on 1995. As a response, the Philippine Navy dispatched the BRP Sierra Madre and deliberately ran it aground in the Second Thomas Shoal, 5 miles from the Chinese facility and south of the rumored oil-rich Reed Bank, which it maintains as its own station today. [16] [17]

The importance of territorial defense capability was highlighted in the public eye in 1995 when the AFP published photographs of Chinese structures on Mischief Reef in the Spratlys. Initial attempts to improve the capabilities of the armed forces happened when a law was passed in the same year for the sale of redundant military installations and devote 35% of the proceeds for the AFP upgrades. Subsequently, the legislature passed the AFP Modernization Act. The law sought to modernize the AFP over a 15-year period, with minimum appropriation of 10-billion pesos per year for the first five years, subject to increase in subsequent years of the program. The modernization fund was to be separate and distinct from the rest of the AFP budget. The Asian Financial Crisis which struck the region on 1997, greatly affected the AFP Modernization Program due to the government's austerity measures meant to turn the economy around after suffering from losses incurred during the financial crisis. [18]

In 1998, following the closure of US bases, the Philippines-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was signed which contained guidelines for the conduct and protection of American troops visiting the Philippines and stipulated the terms and conditions for the American military to enter Philippine territory. The VFA is a reciprocal agreement that also outlines the requirements for Philippine troops visiting the United States. The Visiting Forces Agreement led to the establishment of the Balikatan exercises, an annual US-Philippine military exercise, as well as a variety of other cooperative measures including the Philippine Bilateral Exercises (PHIBLEX) between the naval forces of the two countries. [19] [20]

The next decade ushered in a cordial relationship between China and its maritime neighbours including the Philippines until 2011 when tensions rose again after consecutive incidents occurred in the disputed territories. In 2012, a Philippine surveillance aircraft identified Chinese fishing vessels at the then Philippine-controlled Scarborough Shoal, causing the Philippine Navy to deploy the BRP Gregorio del Pilar to the area. In response, China sent surveillance ships to warn the Navy to leave the area claimed by both countries, prompting a standoff. The two nations eventually agreed to withdraw their deployed vessels as the arrival of the typhoon season drew near. [21] [22] Following a 3-month standoff between Philippine and Chinese vessels around Scarborough Shoal, China informed the Philippines that Chinese coast guard vessels will remain permanently on the shoal as an integral part of their 'Sansha City' in the Woody island of the Paracels, a separate archipelago disputed by China and Vietnam. Under the control of Hainan Province. the Chinese government plans the island-city to have administrative control over a region that encompasses not only the Paracels, but Macclesfield Bank, a largely sunken atoll to the east, and the Spratly Islands to the south. [23]

The incidents with the Chinese presence in the South China Sea prompted the Philippines to proceed with formal measures while challenging the Chinese activities in some of the sea features in the disputed island chain. Hence, the South China Sea Arbitration Case was filed by the Philippines in 2013 at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). [24] Reminiscent to what occurred on 1995, the Congress passed the Revised AFP Modernization Act of 2012, this was meant to replace the older AFP Modernization Act of 1995, when the 15-year program expired in 2010. Major naval assets for acquisition under the new AFP modernization program include: 2 frigates, 2 corvettes, 2 strategic sealift vessels (SSV), 6 offshore patrol vessels, missile and other weapon systems upgrade, among others. [25] However, the Navy remains unable to protect other Philippine Reefs that have been claimed by the Chinese. [26] In March 2020, the navy decommissioned four ships, including two vessels that had served with the US Navy in World War II. [27]


Aerial view of the Philippine Navy Headquarters in Manila. Top view of the Philippine Navy Headquarters.jpg
Aerial view of the Philippine Navy Headquarters in Manila.
Philippine Navy rigid hull inflatable boats perform a maritime interdiction operation exercise in Manila Bay. 100204-N-3879W-023.jpg
Philippine Navy rigid hull inflatable boats perform a maritime interdiction operation exercise in Manila Bay.
An AW109E naval helicopter approaches one of the Philippine Navy's Tarlac-class landing platform dock during an exercise in 2018 PNAW109 Approaching LPD.jpg
An AW109E naval helicopter approaches one of the Philippine Navy's Tarlac-class landing platform dock during an exercise in 2018
Missile-armed MPAC Mk. III attack boats during a live-fire demonstration involving the launching of Spike-ER missiles in November 2018 MPACMk3 LiveFireExercise2018.jpg
Missile-armed MPAC Mk. III attack boats during a live-fire demonstration involving the launching of Spike-ER missiles in November 2018
The BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), along with an AW109E naval helicopter, conducting flight operations during the RIMPAC 2020 BRP Jose Rizal at RIMPAC 2020 004.jpg
The BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), along with an AW109E naval helicopter, conducting flight operations during the RIMPAC 2020

The Philippine Navy is administered through the Department of National Defense (DND). Under the AFP structure, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, AFP, a four-star general/admiral (if the officer is a member of the Philippine Navy), is the most senior military officer. The senior naval officer is the Chief of the Navy, who usually holds the rank of vice admiral. He, along with his or her air force and army counterparts, is junior only to the Chairman. The CoN is solely responsible for the administration and operational status of the Navy. His counterpart in the U.S. Navy is the Chief of Naval Operations. [10] [28]

Currently, the navy establishment is actually composed of two type commands, the Philippine Fleet and Philippine Marine Corps (PMC). It is further organized into seven naval operational commands, five naval support commands, and seven naval support units. [28] Considering the vastness of the territorial waters that the Navy has to protect and defend, optimal deployment of naval resources is achieved through identification of suitable locations where the presence of these units are capable of delivering responsive services. [10] [28]

The Philippine Fleet, or simply the "Fleet", is under the direct command of the Commander, Philippine Fleet while the Marine Corps is answerable to the Commandant, PMC (CPMC). The Chief of the Navy has administrative and operational control over both commands. [10]

Type Commands

Flying Units:

  • 30th Naval Fixed Wing Air Group 30
    • 31st Light Utility Patrol Squadron
    • 32nd Maritime Patrol & Reconnaissance Squadron
  • 40th Naval Helicopter Air Group 40
    • 41st Maritime Strike Helicopter Squadron
    • 42nd Anti Submarine Helicopter Squadron
  • 71st Maritime Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron

Non-Flying Units:

  • 21st Group Support Squadron
  • Naval Air Warfare Training and Doctrine Center
  • Aircraft Inspection & Maintenance Squadron
  • 62nd Air Combat Systems Squadron
  • 63rd Ordnance and Material Supply Squadron
NAVSOG at the SEACAT 2018 Exercise 002 NAVSOG at the SEACAT 2018 Exercise 002.jpg
NAVSOG at the SEACAT 2018 Exercise 002

The Naval Operation Commands are responsible for overall naval and maritime operations, which are divided into seven commands throughout the country, and as follows: [28]

NAVFORWEM and NAVFOREM were formed in August 2006 when Southern Command was split to allow more effective operations against Islamist and Communist rebels within the region. [30]

The Naval Support Commands are responsible for the sustainability of naval and maritime operations, which are divided into five commands, and as follows: [28]

The Naval Sea Systems Command (NSSC), formerly known as Naval Support Command (NASCOM), provides quality and integrated naval system support and services in order to sustain the conduct of naval operations. It is the biggest industrial complex of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It operates the country's military shipyards, develops new technologies for the Navy, and conducts maintenance on all the Navy's ships. NSSC's principal facilities are at the offshore operating base at Muelle de Codo and at Fort San Felipe in Cavite City. [30]

The Naval Education, Training & Doctrine Command (NETDC) is the Philippine Navy's institution of learning. Its mission is to provide education and training to naval personnel so that they may be able to pursue progressive naval careers. NETDC is located in Naval Station Leovigildo Gantioqui, San Antonio, Zambales. [30] [31]

The Naval Reserve Command (NAVRESCOM) organizes, trains, and administers all naval reservists (which includes the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Units midshipmen and midshipwomen). It is responsible for recalling reservists to provide the PN the base for expansion to meet sudden spikes in military manpower demand, as for war, rebellion or natural disaster/calamities and to assist in the socio-economic development of the country. The NAVRESCOM is presently based at Fort Santiago, Manila. It was formerly known as the Home Defense Command. [30]

The Naval Combat Engineer Brigade (NCEBde), more popularly known as the Seabees, is tasked with combat engineering and amphibious construction in support of Fleet-Marine operations. Naval combat engineers perform tasks such as mobility, counter-mobility, assault, survivability and construction in the conduct of ground combat and amphibious operations. It executes under combat conditions the construction of roads, bridges and other vital infrastructures; the rehabilitation of piers, harbors and beach facilities; and harbor clearing and salvage works. Along with the Philippine Marine Corps, the NCEBde is charged with the manning and security of naval garrisons in shoals and islands located in the West Philippine Sea. The motto of the Seabees is "We build, We fight!"

The Naval Installation Command (NIC), formerly Naval Base Cavite, provides support services to the Philippine Navy and other AFP tenant units in the base complex, such as refueling, re-watering, shore power connections, berthing, ferry services, tugboat assistance, sludge disposal services and housing.

A Philippine Navy SEAL climbs a jacob's ladder aboard the logistics support vessel during a maritime interdiction operation exercise.
Philippine Navy Special Warfare Group(SWAG).jpg
A Philippine Navy SEAL Team participates in a battlefield exercise during a capability demonstration at Naval Base Cavite.

The Naval Support Units are responsible for the overall support of the navy, which includes logistics, personnel, financial, management, civil-military operations, and health care services, which are divided into nine groups and as follows: [28]



BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PS-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) berthed together at Subic Bay Port Brp Gregorio del Pilar and Brp Ramon Alcaraz.jpg
BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PS-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) berthed together at Subic Bay Port

The names of commissioned ships of the Philippine Navy are prefixed with the letters "BRP", designating "Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas" (Ship of the Republic of the Philippines). The names of ships are often selected to honor important people and places. The Philippine Navy is currently operating 81 combat ships and 12 auxiliary ships as follows:


Philippine Navy AW109 during flight operations aboard the USS Green Bay. Philippine navy AW109 during flight operations aboard the USS Green Bay.jpg
Philippine Navy AW109 during flight operations aboard the USS Green Bay.

The Naval Air Wing has 25 naval air assets and 8 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It prepares and provides these forces for naval operations with assets mainly for maritime reconnaissance and support missions. Its headquarters is located at Danilo Atienza Air Base, Cavite City. It has four units which operate several variants of aircraft:


Naval Bases
Naval Base Heracleo Alano
(Naval Base Cavite)
Cavite City Luzon Headquarters of the Philippine Fleet
Naval Base Camilo Osias
(Naval Base San Vicente)
Santa Ana, Cagayan Luzon
Naval Base Rafael Ramos

(Naval Base Mactan)

Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan, Cebu Visayas
Naval Station
Naval Station Jose Andrada
(Fort San Antonio Abad)
Manila NCR Headquarters of the Philippine Navy.
Naval Station Jose Francisco
(Bonifacio Naval Station)
Taguig NCRPart of it was developed as Bonifacio Global City
Naval Station Heracleo Alano
(Sangley Point)
Cavite CityLuzonHeadquarters of Naval Air Group
Naval Station Pascual Ledesma
(Fort San Felipe)
Naval Station Ernesto Ogbinar
(Naval Station Poro Point)
San Fernando, La Union LuzonHeadquarters of Naval Forces Northern Luzon
Naval Station Leovigildo Gantioqui
(Naval Station San Miguel)
San Antonio, Zambales LuzonHeadquarters, Naval Education, Training and Doctrine Command
Naval Station Narciso Del Rosario
(Naval Station Balabac)
Balabac Island, Palawan Luzon
Naval Station Emilio Liwanag
(Naval Station Pag-asa)
Kalayaan Islands, PalawanLuzon
Naval Station Apolinario Jalandoon
(Naval Station Puerto Princesa)
Puerto Princesa, PalawanLuzon
Naval Station Carlito Cunanan
(Naval Station Ulugan)
Ulugan, PalawanLuzon
Naval Station Julhasan Arasain
(Naval Station Legazpi)
Legazpi, Albay LuzonHeadquarters of Naval Forces Southern Luzon
Naval Station Alfonso Palencia
(Naval Station Guimaras)
Guimaras Visayas
Naval Station Dioscoro Papa
(Naval Station Tacloban)
Tacloban, Leyte Visayas
Naval Station Felix Apolinario
(Naval Station Davao)
Davao City Mindanao Headquarters of Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao
Naval Station Romulo Espaldon
(Naval Station Zamboanga)
Zamboanga City MindanaoHeadquarters of Naval Forces Western Mindanao
Naval Station Rio Hondo
Naval Station Juan Magluyan
(Naval Operating Base Batu-Batu)
Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi Mindanao
Marine Bases
Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown
(Marine Base Manila)
TaguigLuzonHeadquarters of the Philippine Marine Corps
Marine Barracks Gregorio Lim
(Marine Base Ternate)
Ternate, CaviteLuzonContains the Marine Basic School Campus
Marine Barracks Arturo Asuncion
(Marine Base Zamboanga)
Zamboanga CityMindanao
Marine Barracks Domingo Deluana
(Marine Base Tawi-Tawi)
Camp Gen. Teodulfo Bautista Jolo, Sulu Mindanao

See also


  1. The Del Pilar-class are no longer classified as frigates. They were reclassified as OPVs.

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The Offshore Patrol (OSP), also known as the Mosquito Fleet was a small naval branch of the United States Army, intended for inshore defense of the Philippines. It was active from February 9, 1939 to June 30, 1946. The OSP became part of the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) on July 26, 1941, with General Douglas MacArthur as Commander. During the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, the Patrol engaged in limited naval operations along the coastlines of Bataan and Corregidor, against the tight enemy blockade, to bring much-needed provisions to the beleaguered Filipino and American troops during the battle. Undaunted by enemy superiority, the ubiquitous patrol boats fought with zeal, courage and heroism, hitting Japanese warships with torpedoes when given the opportunity. The unit relied on speed and surprise to attack larger vessels at close range.

Republic of Vietnam Navy Former naval branch of the South Vietnamese military

The Republic of Vietnam Navy was the naval branch of the South Vietnamese military, the official armed forces of the former Republic of Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. The early fleet consisted of boats from France. After 1955 and the transfer of the armed forces to Vietnamese control, the fleet was supplied from the United States. With American assistance, in 1972 the VNN became the largest Southeast Asian navy and the fouth largest navy in the world, just behind the Soviet Union, the USA and China, with 42,000 personnel, 672 amphibious ships and craft, 20 mine warfare vessels, 450 patrol craft, 56 service craft, and 242 junks. Other sources state that VNN was the ninth largest navy in the world. Republic of Vietnam navy is the naval branch of the Republic of Vietnam Military Forces and is responsible for the protection of the country's national waters, islands, and interests of the maritime economy, as well as for the co-ordination of maritime police, customs service and the border defence force.

Captain Emilio S. Liwanag was an officer in the Philippine Navy who served during the Second World War and the Korean War.

BRP <i>Bacolod City</i> (LS-550)

The BRP Bacolod City (LS-550) is the lead ship of two Bacolod City class logistics support vessel, and is based on a helicopter capable variant of the US Army's Frank S. Besson class. She is also considered one of the most modern transport ships in the Philippine Navy, having been commissioned during the early 1990s. She was previously known as BRP Bacolod City (LC-550) prior to a classification change implemented by the Philippine Navy starting April 2016.

BRP <i>Quezon</i> (PS-70)

The BRP Quezon (PS-70) was one of two Rizal class ships in service with the Philippine Navy. She was formerly a USN Auk class minesweeper produced during World War II, and was later on classified as a patrol corvette protecting the vast waters of the Philippines.

BRP <i>General Mariano Alvarez</i> (PS-38)

BRP General Mariano Alvarez (PS-38) is the lone ship of its class of coastal patrol ships in service with the Philippine Navy. She was the lead ship of the US Navy's Cyclone-class patrol ship prior to being transferred to the Philippine Navy, thereby making it the only other navy, aside from the US Navy, to operate the Cyclone-class ship. Today she is considered one of the newest active fighting ships in the Philippine Navy.

BRP <i>Emilio Jacinto</i> (PS-35)

The BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35) is the lead ship of the Jacinto-class corvettes currently assigned to the Offshore Combat Force of the Philippine Fleet. She is one of few ships in the Philippine Navy equipped with modern systems after the completion of combat, navigation and weapon systems upgrade of her class in August 2019. She was originally called HMS Peacock (P239) during her service with the Royal Navy.

Naval Station Sangley Point

Naval Station Sangley Point was a communication and hospital facility of the United States Navy which occupied the northern portion of the Cavite City peninsula and is surrounded by Manila Bay, approximately eight miles southwest of Manila, the Philippines. The station was a part of the Cavite Navy Yard across the peninsula. The naval station had a runway that was built after World War II, which was used by U.S. Navy Lockheed P-2 Neptune, Lockheed P-3 Orion, and Martin P4M Mercator maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. An adjacent seaplane runway, ramp area and seaplane tender berths also supported Martin P5M Marlin maritime patrol aircraft until that type's retirement from active naval service in the late 1960s. NAS Sangley Point/NAVSTA Sangley Point was also used extensively during the Vietnam War, primarily for U.S. Navy patrol squadrons forward deployed from the United States on six-month rotations. The naval station was turned over to the Philippine government in 1971. It is now operated by the Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy.

Philippine Air Force Air warfare branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines

The Philippine Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Initially formed as part of the Philippine Army, the PAF is responsible for both defending the Philippine airspace, and conducting aerial operations throughout the Philippines, such as close air support operations, combat air patrols, aerial reconnaissance missions, airlift operations, helicopter tactical operations and aerial humanitarian operations. The PAF is headquartered at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay, and is headed by the Chief of the Air Force, who also serves as the branch's highest-raking military officer. The PAF has an estimated strength of over 15,000 personnel and operates 203 aircraft.

Naval Base Cavite

Naval Station Pascual Ledesma, also known as Cavite Naval Base or Cavite Navy Yard, is a military installation of the Philippine Navy in Cavite City. In the 1940s and '50s, it was called Philippine Navy Operating Base. The 9-hectare (22-acre) naval base is located at the easternmost end of Cavite Point in the San Roque district of the city. Via traffic lane, this naval establishment is next to the famous Samonte Park. It was the former extension of U.S. Naval Station Sangley Point which is now Naval Station Heracleo Alano. In 2009, it was named after Cmdre. Pascual Ledesma, a leader of the Philippine revolution and the first Officer-In-Command of the Philippine Navy.

<i>Tomas Batilo</i>-class patrol craft

The Tomas Batilo class was a ship class of eight patrol boats that were previously service of the Philippine Navy. These ships were formerly used by the South Korean Navy as Chamsuri/Wildcat class fast attack crafts. All eight ships have been retired from active service, with two units lost in separate incidents while the rest are in different state of disposal.

BRP <i>Felix Apolinario</i> (PC-395)

BRP Felix Apolinario (PC-395) is twenty-second and final ship of the Jose Andrada-class patrol craft of the Philippine Navy. She was commissioned in 2000 and is currently in active service with the Littoral Combat Force, Philippine Fleet.

BRP <i>Tarlac</i> (LD-601)

BRP Tarlac (LD-601) is the lead ship of her class of landing platform docks in service with the Philippine Navy. She is the second ship to be named after the Philippine province of Tarlac, one of the provinces considered to have significant involvement in the Philippine Revolution of independence against Spain.

BRP <i>Gregorio del Pilar</i> (PS-15)

BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PS-15) is the lead ship of her class of offshore patrol vessels of the Philippine Navy. She is the second ship to be named after Gregorio del Pilar, a Filipino revolutionary general known for his role at the Battle of Tirad Pass. She was originally designated as "PF-15" from 2012 to mid-2016. Then the Navy adopted a new code designation system and she was redesignated as "FF-15". In February 2019, the Navy downgraded the status of the entire class from frigate to patrol ship and redesignated her to "PS-15".

BRP <i>Ramon Alcaraz</i> (PS-16)

BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) is the second ship of the Gregorio del Pilar-class offshore patrol vessels of the Philippine Navy. From 1968 to 2012, she was known as USCGC Dallas and served the United States Coast Guard as a high endurance cutter. She was decommissioned on 30 March 2012 and acquired by the Philippines under the Excess Defense Articles and the Foreign Assistance Act.

BRP <i>Andrés Bonifacio</i> (PS-17) Philippine Navy patrol ship

BRP Andrés Bonifacio (PS-17) is the third ship of the Gregorio del Pilar-class offshore patrol vessels of the Philippine Navy. She is the second ship of the Philippine Navy to be named after Andrés Bonifacio, a Filipino revolutionary leader, regarded as the "Father of the Philippine Revolution" and one of the most influential national heroes of the Philippines.

Robert Empedrad Filipino government official and former Navy admiral

Robert Arugay Empedrad is a retired Philippine Navy admiral who is the incumbent Administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA). He previously served as the Flag Officer-in-Command of the Philippine Navy from 2017 to 2020. He is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy "Sinagtala" Class of 1986.

Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Jamero Bacordo is a Filipino Admiral who was the Chief of the Philippine Navy. He is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy "Hinirang" Class of 1987. Prior to his post, he served as the commander of the Philippine Fleet.


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