The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) have conducted joint maritime drills in Subic Bay, Zambales on Tuesday, Aug. 31.
Personnel from the BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301, BRP Sindangan (MRRV-4407), BRP Capones (MRRV-4404), PCG-manned Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) vessel, BRP Lapu-Lapu (MMOV-5001), and airbus helicopter, CGH-1451 were deployed under PCG’s Task Force Pagsasanay.
The USCG has also deployed USCG Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) with Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Scan Eagle.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) have conducted joint maritime drills off Subic Bay, Zambales on Tuesday, Aug. 31. (: PCG) | @manilabulletin pic.twitter.com/9uiagtKRwy— Richa Noriega (@richanoriegaMB) September 1, 2021
PCG Spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo said some Coast Guard personnel joined aboard USCG Cutter Munro as they launched the UAS during the search and rescue (SAR) operations.
Balilo said the units also performed drills on vessel communication, SAR, small boat operation, multi-vessel maneuvering, and emergency response operation on distressed situations such as fire onboard and man overboard.
PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. underscored what he described as a strong partnership with the USCG in the modernization of the armed service.
“The success of the joint maritime exercise between the PCG and USCG will not only strengthen international partnerships for immediate response to calamities and disasters but will also ensure that our personnel could effectively perform their mandated functions in countering terrorism and other acts of lawlessness in our country’s waters,” Ursabia said.
Meanwhile, Captain Blake Novak, USCG Cutter Munro (WMSL 755)’s commanding officer, said he enjoyed the PCG’s hospitality and professionalism during the maritime drills.
“As the maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region become increasingly complex, partnering with our Coast Guard counterparts is vital to our shared interest in a free and open maritime environment,” Novak expressed.
Vice Admiral Michael McAllister, commander of the USCG Pacific Area, emphasized the strong bilateral relationship with the PCG, which was rooted in a deep and abiding interest in a rules-based international order.
“Partnering with the Philippines to enhance maritime governance, including important missions such as search and rescue and enforcement of fisheries laws and treaties, is essential to the security, stability, and prosperity of all nations,” McAllister added.
The PCG said the joint maritime exercise was anchored in the Philippine – United States cooperation to promote security and enhance law enforcement interoperability in the country’s maritime jurisdiction.