2 Philippine Navy soldiers promoted while aboard US battleship

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Two soldiers of the Philippine Navy will soon come back to the country with the distinct honor of being promoted while aboard an American battleship docked at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

Now Petty Officer 1st Class Ronieboy Fajardo and now Seaman 2nd Class Esmael Serafin were donned their next higher ranks in an unprecedented ceremony held aboard the historic “Mighty Mo” or the Iowa-class battleship USS Missouri.

Naval Public Affairs Office (NPAO) chief Commander Benjo Negranza said both enlisted personnel form part of the sailors sent to participate in the recently concluded Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercises held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Naval Task Group (NTG) 80.5 Commander and BRP Antonio Luna Commanding Officer Capt. Charles Merric Villanueva administered the donning of ranks to the enlisted personnel.

Fajardo, a native of Zamboanga City, was promoted for graduating number one in Systems Management Course Class 43 while Serafin of Catbalogan City, Samar was promoted by virtue of regular promotion.

Negranza said this was the first time for the Philippine Navy to conduct such a ceremony aboard the World War II-era Iowa-class battleship currently moored at the heart of Pearl Harbor as a museum ship.

He shared that before the start of the ceremony, members of the NTG 80.5 and the ship’s crew volunteered to help in the cleaning of the battleship to reciprocate the hospitality extended by the people of Hawaii.

He said the Philippine Navy contingent to RIMPAC 2022 is now sailing home following successful month-long naval exercises led by the United States.

They were sent off by the Filipino community in Hawaii, along with the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Liaison Officer to Hawaii Capt. Aldrin Doctor, while recognizing the contingent’s achievements and the pride they brought through successful participation in the premier naval exercise alongside the best navies in the world.

Negranza said NTG 80.5 is now on its way to Guam for a brief layover before heading back to the Philippines later this month.

He added that the Philippine Navy contingent capped off its third and another remarkable participation in the world’s largest naval exercise on Aug. 4 in a closing ceremony at the Ford Island Conference Center.

US 3rd Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Michael Boyle congratulated the contingents from participating nations for the job well done and successful RIMPAC exercise, as all heads of the delegation were also given a chance to share their experiences and challenges during the exercise.

Negranza said select officers and enlisted personnel of NTG 80.5 attended the US-hosted dinner reception for the closing ceremony of the RIMPAC22 aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

With the theme “Capable, Adaptive Partners,” RIMPAC 2022 was the largest naval exercise participated in by 26 nations, 38 ships, four submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel that sought to build and strengthen mutual understanding through cooperative activities of multinational maritime forces.


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