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PH-Indo week-long maritime exercises kick off in Panacan

The First Philippine-Indonesia Maritime Training Activity was unveiled at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario, in Barangay Panacan, Bunawan District yesterday morning.

Lt. Col Ezra Balagtey, the Eastern Mindanao Command spokesperson, said the launch also coincided with a one-week joint training activity, which will conclude on Nov. 30. Participants involve personnel from the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao and members of the Indonesian Second Fleet Command.

The BRP Conrado Yap in this file photo by BIng Gonzales at the Sasa Port during a recent visit in Davao City.

The exercise ranges from naval doctrine discussion, tabletop exercise, and open sea drills and maneuvers, which aim to enhance the readiness of both navies in addressing their common maritime security concerns and interests.

In his remarks during the opening ceremony, Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., EastMinCom commander, emphasized the proactive stance of both forces to keep up the dynamic maritime security environment.

“It is imperative for us to keep up with the everchanging maritime security environment and develop more robust approaches in addressing maritime security,” he said.

Four naval ships will be used during the exercises. The NFEM is deploying the Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Apolinario Mabini and BRP Liberato Picar, while Indonesia will be utilizing KRI Layang and KRI Pandarong. They will sail 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,” Commodore Antonio C. Palces, commander of NFEM, also said.

First Admiral Rachmad Jahadi, commandant of the Maritime Security Task Force of Second Fleet Command of the Indonesian Navy, led the Indonesian delegates. The activity was also in preparation for the future conduct of coordinated patrols at the common borders of the two countries in the Celebes Sea.

It can be recalled that the RP-Indon Border Committee Chairmen’s Conference was held last week at the Water Front Hotel, Davao City wherein both chairpersons agreed to intensify the conduct of coordinated patrol operations.

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