MANILA - The activation of the Naval Operating Base (NOB) Subic shows President Rodrigo R. Duterte's appreciation for a well-equipped naval force, outgoing Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday.
"I am extremely delighted to have this Naval Operations Base (NOB) facility up and running before my term as SND (Secretary of National Defense) ends. Its establishment speaks volumes of how our President and Commander-In-Chief, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, appreciates the value of a well-equipped and multi-capable naval force," he said in his Facebook post.
Lorenzana said NOB Subic will be the Philippine Navy (PN)'s main naval support and logistics hub.
"It will also provide secure and adequate berthing facilities for our growing naval assets," he added.
Lorenzana said the facility will allow the country to beef up its territorial defense and operations in the West Philippine Sea and adjoining areas.
The NOB Subic was activated late last May with the missile-frigate, BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), making a symbolic docking at the former Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil) Shipyard in Subic on May 24.
The base will serve as the home of the PN's large capital ships.
The activation came after the recent approval of the lease agreement for the PN to occupy the northern portion of the former HHIC-Phil shipyard which spans around 250 acres of the site's total of more than 700 acres.
The PN's acquisition of this strategic harbor was made through the collaborative efforts of the Department of National Defense, the Office of the Executive Secretary, the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Justice, Bases Conversion and Development Authority and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
The activation and subsequent operationalization of NOB Subic are in line with the Navy's scaled-up maritime operations to support the needed base services of the deep-draft vessels such as Jose Rizal-class missile-frigates, Del Pilar-class offshore patrol ships, and Tarlac-class landing docks.
The newly activated base will house select fleet marine units, maintenance, and replenishment facilities that will enable the fleet to sustain the operational requirements of the current and future capital vessels.
The NOB Subic is a vital component in the Navy's modernization effort toward becoming a multi-capable naval force. (PNA)