Sunday, June 16, 2019

Joint PH, Australia maritime exercise reels off

ZAMBOANGA. A photo handout of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao shows the crew of Her Majesty Australian Ship (HMAS)-Launceston stand in formation during the kick-off program on Monday of the 5th Combined Philippine Navy-Royal Australian Navy (PN-RAN) Maritime Security Activity. (Bong Garcia)

THE 10-day 5th combined Philippine Navy-Royal Australian Navy (PN-RAN) Maritime Security Activity that seeks to enhance the capabilities and readiness of the sailors of the two countries in combating terrorism at sea reeled off on Monday.

Rear Admiral Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) commander, said the activity includes maritime patrols in the NFWM’s area of jurisdiction that covers the waters Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

Medina said there will be also aboard ship drills to enhancement the capabilities and readiness of crew on board the participating vessels.

Medina said the NFWM is utilizing BRP-General Mariano Alvarez (PS-38) while the RAN is the Her Majesty Australian Ship (HMAS)-Launceston, which arrived on Monday in Zamboanga City.

Captain John Cowan, RAN contingent head, said that the fight against terrorism is a common fight of the two countries, which shared regional maritime security concerns.

The 5th Combined PN-RAN Maritime Security Activity ends on October 4.

Medina said the continuous engagement with other regional navies are part of the anti-piracy and anti-terrorism campaign of the government which help curb the security threats that are affecting the Islands of Mindanao.

He added that it is also a sign that both Philippines and Australia share a strong relationship in matters of security through the joint exercise. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)


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