THE week-long first Philippine-Indonesia Maritime Training Activity (MTA) kicked off Monday, November 25, with a ceremony held at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Panacan, Davao City.
The one week combined force training activity, which is hosted by the Philippines, will conclude on November 30.
It will involve personnel from the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) and members of the Indonesian Second Fleet Command.
The exercise ranges from naval doctrine discussion, tabletop exercise, and open sea drills and maneuvers, which aims to enhance the readiness of both navies in addressing their common maritime security concerns and interests.
Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr., Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) chief, emphasized in his remarks during the opening ceremony the proactive stance of both forces to be abreast with the dynamic maritime security environment.
"It is imperative for us to keep up with the ever changing maritime security environment and develop more robust approaches in addressing maritime security," Santos said.
Four naval ships will be used during the MTA, with the NFEM deploying BRP Apolinario Mabini and BRP-Liberato Picar, while the Indonesian will be utilizing KRI-Layang and KRI-Pandarong and will be sailing along the Philippine waters during the activity.
"The activity is Navy to Navy and it is more on military exercise compared to Corpat Philindo, which includes other civilian agencies from both countries," said Commodore Antonio Palces, NFEM commander.
The Corpat Philindo is an annual coordinated border patrol between the Philippine Navy and Indonesian Navy, whereby two navies undertake series of sea serials and other naval operations along the border areas.
First Admiral Rachmad Jahadi, commandant of the Maritime Security Task Force of Second Fleet Command of the Indonesian Navy, attended the activity and led the Indonesian delegates, which is also in preparation for the future conduct of coordinated patrol along the common borders of the two countries in the Celebes Sea.
It can be recalled that the Republic of the Philippines-Republic of Indonesia (RP-RI) Border Committee Chairmen's Conference was held last week at the Water Front Hotel, Davao City, wherein both chairmen agreed to continuously intensify the conduct of coordinated patrol operations that will seek to ensure the security and maritime control in both countries' common borders. (SunStar Zamboanga)