PH, Japan, US coast guards to hold drills starting June 1

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will hold its first-ever trilateral maritime exercise with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) off the waters of Mariveles in Bataan from June 1 to 7. The PCG will deploy BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702), BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301), BRP Boracay (FPB-2401), and one 44-meter multi-role response vessel, while the USCG and JCG will send USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752) and Akitsushima (PLH-32), respectively. The PCG acquired the BRP Melchora Aquino and the participating 44-meter MRRV through the Japan International Cooperation Agency-Department of Transportation Maritime Safety Improvement Project. In a news release, the PCG said the joint maritime exercise would strengthen interoperability through communication exercises, maneuvering drills, photo exercises, maritime law enforcement training, search and rescue (SAR) and passing exercises. Participating coast guard personnel will demonstrate a scenario involving a suspected vessel involved in piracy. The joint law enforcement team from the three coast Guards will carry out a boarding inspection followed by a SAR operation. PCG Vice Admiral Rolando Punzalan Jr. said the exercise would also improve maritime cooperation and understanding. “The US Coast Guard and Japan Coast Guard have been assisting us in our human resource development program, particularly in law enforcement training. This is a good opportunity to thank and show them what our personnel learned from their programs,” Punzalan said. The week-long exercise also involves a sporting event to strengthen the three coast guards’ camaraderie, a special interest exchange for women in maritime law enforcement, and an expert exchange for PCG personnel’s professional development.

Source: Philippines News Agency