THE Naval Forces Western Mindanao (Navforwem) on Monday awarded medals to its sailors and marine troops for exceptional deeds in the performance of their duty during the last quarter of 2018 and in the first quarter of this year.
The awarding of medals led by Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan, Navforwem command, and Captain Richard Gonzaga, the deputy commander for Fleet Operations was held Monday, April 22, during the flag raising ceremony at the Romulo Espaldon Naval Base in this city.
Bronze Cross Medal were awarded to the gallant sailors and marines of Naval Intelligence Security Group - Western Mindanao for: the successful surrender of Abu Sayyaf Group leader Berham Lutian, with his cohorts and the recovery of their firearms with ammunitions in the villages of Karugtong Caluang and Ipil in Maimbung, Sulu on May 10 2018; and, for the successful interception of M/L Moneza, a wooden-hulled vessel, loaded with 75 Trafficking-In-Person (TIP) in sea waters off this city on February 11, this year.
Military Merit Medal were awarded to the officers and men of BRP-IWAK (LC-289) of Navforwem’s Naval Task Force 61 for the successful execution of Fleet-Marine amphibious operations in Simisa and Bangalao Islands in Sulu from October 17 to 19, 2018, which involved 194 officers and enlisted men composed under the Philippine Marine Ready Force Sulu.
The amphibious operations contributed to the mission to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu.
Moreover, BRP-IWAK has conducted a naval blockade to deter the escape of said Abu Sayyaf bandits in the area.
“These series of military operations wouldn’t be successful without all the hard work and sacrifices you have done to continue our mission as a team and to become strong and credible for our nation as the defenders of the Western Mindanao Frontier,” Kagaoan said as he commended the troops. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)