Various maritime law enforcement agencies in the country held an anti-piracy and weapons of mass destruction drills at the vicinity waters of Manila Bay on December 13. The exercise dubbed as “Palakat 2018” was initiated by the Anti-Terrorism Council-Program Management Center on a Local-Regional Command Incident Level.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Maritime Group (MARIG) and Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and National Security Council (NSC) participated in the joint exercise.
“Palakat 2018” simulated different scenarios involving a cruise ship being seajacked by lawless elements. Capability demonstration in an operational and tactical approach were performed such as maritime interdiction; vessel, board, search and seizure; rendering search and rescue by the AFP Joint Special Operations Group (JSOG), PNP MARIG and PCG Anti-Terrorist Unit.
The Philippine Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Team demonstrated capability in detecting and identifying hazardous materials was highlighted during the drill. The army worn their mission oriented protective posture level of protections (MOPP 4), a protective gear used during a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear strike.
Subsequently, as the simulated victim vessel catches fire, PCG’s 24-meter fast patrol boat provided fire-fighting assistance as part of the damage control exercise. PNP MARIG personnel were dispatched to capture the lawless elements for proper disposition.
During the drill, law enforcers were injured during a sudden explosion; medical evacuation was conducted by team members of the JSOG and proceeded to the decontamination area. Meanwhile, conduct of decontamination procedure and management were facilitated by the Bureau of Fire Protection and PCG’s Marine Environmental Protection Command. A triage was also set up and manned by the PCG Medical Team during the exercise.
Captain Edgardo Hernando PCG, Exercise Director further stated that this event aims to strengthen the collaboration and coordination among agencies in addressing crisis, and its corresponding protocol, focusing on the communication structure and transition processes of the decision-making process. PCG