PH Navy concludes interoperability drill with reservists

Published November 29, 2020, 6:53 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Philippine Navy (PN) personnel and reservists have completed a four-day unilateral drill aimed at ensuring the smooth integration of the reserves to the regular military force in times of need.


Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, PN Flag Officer in Command, congratulated the participants of the “Exercise Pagsasama 2020” in a ceremony held at the Naval Reserve Command (NRC) headquarters in Intramuros, Manila last Friday.

In a video message, Bacordo said the exercise “achieved its objective of integrating the PN reservists to the regular force in times of disasters and utilizing them with the PN Auxiliary Reserve Unit (PNARU) in maritime and ground security operations.”

Further, the Navy chief said the participants were also successfully trained on how to work together during amphibious operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations, and civic action activities.

Brig. Gen. Arnel Tolato, commander of the Fleet Marine Ready Force, and Marine Major Gen. Ariel Caculitan, commander of the Naval Reserve Command, graced the closing ceremony of the drill and expressed confidence that both regular and reserve forces will be ready to respond to the needs of the public.

The Pagsasama 2020 kicked off last Monday (November 23) with various lectures and rehearsals for amphibious operations, search and rescue, maritime surveillance, introduction to surface warfare and intelligence gathering, and sea trials. Among the participants were from the Fleet Marine Reserve Unit, Marine Battalion Landing Team 9, and PNARU.

The lectures were followed by several at-sea activities including maneuvering exercises (MANNEX), publication exercises (PUBEX), and anti-submarine maneuvering exercises (SCREENEX).

Naval Task Group personnel and reservists joined in a “crisis within a crisis” simulation exercise where they were tested to come up with the best course of action during an HADR and maritime interdiction operations in Ternate, Cavite.

Marine reservists, on the other hand, underwent mass casualty management training to enhance their knowledge about the proper response to situations which result to the loss of many lives. 

Meanwhile, reservists from the Naval Combat Engineering Brigade (Seabees) honed their skills in collapse structure search and rescue (CSSR) with the Marine medical team.

The Naval Special Operations Command and Seabees also performed gunnery exercise (GUNNEX), photo exercise (PHOTOEX), over the beach (OTB) clearing operations, and simulated amphibious operations.

Towards the end of the exercises, an HADR operation was conducted by the Fleet Marine Ready Force and Civil Military Operations Unit-National Capital Region in Barangay Sapang Uno, Ternate, Cavite which was bannered by an advocacy lecture on how to properly manage anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Actor and Navy reservist Petty Officer 3 Enrico Raphael “Rocco” Nacino led the distribution of 1,300 relief packs to the families in Barangay Sapang-Uno while Major Jose Sixto Raphael “Dingdong” Dantes explained to the villagers the importance of the drills that were held in their community.