PH, Australia hold 3rd Maritime Security Activity

The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) through the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (Navforwem) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is conducting the third Combined Maritime Security Activity to enhance capability against piracy, kidnapping and terror.

The maritime security activity kicked-off on Monday with the arrival ceremony of the two RAN ships, Her Majesty Australian Ship (HMAS) Albany and HMAS Glenelg, in this city.

Before the ceremony, the Philippine Navy (PN) vessel, BRP-General Mariano Alvarez skippered by Lt. Commander Ted Cerezo conducted a Meeting Procedure for Entering Harbor with the RAN vessels at 3.8 nautical miles Southeast off Tictabon Island, Zamboanga City.

Col. Hernanie Songano, Navforwem deputy commander for Marine operations, represented Rear Adm. Rene Medina during the ceremony held at the local port.

The RAN contingent is headed by Lt. Col. Judd Finger, Joint Task Force 629 commander.

Songano said that part of the activity is the series of maritime patrols in the Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs) particularly in the waters of ZAMPELAN, (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao), Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi.

Songano said that various drills aboard ships will also be held to enhance the readiness of crew.

The Navforwem is utilizing the following vessels in the conduct of maritime patrol: BRP-Cebu (PS-28); BRP-Anastacio Cacayorin (PS-381); BRP-Dioscoro Papa (PC-381); BRP-Filipino Flojo (PC-386); and, BRP-Gen Mariano Alvarez.

The RAN is using the HMAS Albany and HMAS Glenelg during the conduct of third Combined Maritime Security Activity.

Songano said the joint cooperation and continuous conduct of such activities with other regional navies had helped the government in preventing and ending piracy, kidnappings and terrorism in the maritime domain.

Prior to the activity, a coordinating and planning conference was held by RAN Joint Task Force 629 with the PN counterparts as preparation for the conduct of the third Combined Maritime Security Activity.

The maritime security activity is a follow up of the PN-RAN 1st Maritime Security Engagement in October last year and 2nd security activity in March until April, this year. PNA