The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will host again the week-long maritime security exercise, bringing 100 local and foreign maritime law enforcement counterparts from eight nations in Manila.
This year is the second hosting of the PCG of the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise’s boarding workshop which will be held from August 27 to 31 at Coast Guard Surface Support Force in South Harbor, Port Area, Manila.
The exercise aims to address common concerns of maritime security threats prevalent in the ASEAN region such as illegal fishing, smuggling, illegal drug and human trafficking. It also aims to promote mutual international cooperation between participating agencies.
The workshop, led by the US Navy, will be joined by the PCG, Philippine Navy, Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Singapore Navy, Royal Thai Navy, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (BAKAMLA Indonesia), Indonesian Navy-Komando Armanda I, Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency, and Thailand Maritime Enforcement Coordinating Center.
The US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment will lead the conduct of maritime interdiction operation/vessel board, search and seizure (MIO/VBSS) workshop on best practices of use of force and demonstration of arresting techniques; lecture on smuggling trends; drills on flex and handcuffing, positive control measures for compliant and non-compliant boarding, and multiple-man room entry, tactical team movement and inspections and weapons retention to be executed aboard PCG vessels.
The multilateral exercise aims to evaluate the agencies’ maritime information exchange capabilities with SEACAT headquarters through Information Fusion Center based in Changi Naval Base, Singapore and 3rd Thai Naval Area Command in Phuket, Thailand.
Participating countries have sent liaison officers to man the watch team that will facilitate exchange of information, coordinate surveillance operations, and alert respective headquarters in the conduct of MIO/VBSS operation to the vessel of interest.
To mark the conclusion of the exercise, a sea-phase activity will be conducted with two tracking and boarding scenarios in the Philippines waters, one at the west off Subic, Zambales while the other is in the Sulu Sea respectively.