After conducting maritime exercises in the West Philippine Sea, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)’s BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) safely arrived in Pier 15, South Harbor, Manila on Monday, May 3.
Last April 23, the PCG and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) have stepped up the maritime patrol in the West Philippine Sea amid the aggressive presence of Chinese vessels in the disputed areas, which include the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The PCG said the 83-meter offshore patrol vessel carried out Troop Information and Education (TI&E) for the vessel’s crew and PCG officer candidates on determining ship’s position, cross track bearing by use of Azimuth circle and nautical chart, as well as publication familiarization and cathodic protection test.
Led by the Task Force Pagsasanay, the BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) and BRP Sindangan (MRRV-4407) conducted training on navigation and patrol operations near Bajo de Masinloc in Zambales.
The BRP Gabriela Silang proceeded to the Kalayaan Island Group to join BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409), BRP Malapascua (MRRV-4403), and other PCG-manned BFAR vessels to hold training exercises, which included man overboard exercise, small boat operations, seamanship, fire drill, and other ships evolution.
PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. lauded the successful and safe conduct of the first leg of the joint training drills in the West Philippine Sea.
Ursabia commended all PCG personnel who participated in the initiative to uphold maritime security in the Philippine waters.
“Our people and assets are our greatest weapons for maritime security. Rest assured we will provide all training and support needed to ensure they are equipped and prepared to protect our citizens, especially our local fishermen in our country’s waters,” the PCG commandant said in a statement.
The PCG, in cooperation with the BFAR, said they are preparing for the second leg of the comprehensive maritime exercise that will be held in the Batanes Group of Islands and the Benham Rise.
“It is scheduled to commence on the second week of May,” the Coast Guard added.