Two Australian navy patrol boats arrived in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on July 16 to participate in a Maritime Security Activity (MSA) with Philippine Navy to enhance training, interoperability, and cooperation against terrorism and kidnapping within Palawan’s water lanes.
Captain Cherryl Tindog, chief of the Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the Western Command (Wescom), said the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) patrol boats will participate in the combined MSA with the Naval Forces West, Philippine Navy (Navforwest, PN) until July 25.
The activity aims to enrich the two navies’ interoperability and cooperation in dealing with terrorism and kidnapping activities in water lanes that are of common interest to Australia and the Philippines.
The RAN ships – Her Majesty Australian Ship (HMAS) Ararat and Wollongong Armidale-class patrol boats – will perform side-by-side activities with BRP Simeon Castro (PC 374), BRP Carlos Albert (PC 375), and BRP Fort San Felipe (AGS 700).
“There will be aboard ship training activities, maritime patrols, discussions on threats relating to maritime security, and others relevant to keeping areas of common interest safe,” Tindog said.
She said the continuing conduct of joint activities such as the MSA with other navies has helped the country in preventing kidnappings and terrorism in the maritime domain.
She further expressed that there is nothing for Palaweños to worry about even with the mention of terrorism and kidnapping that the joint maritime security activity aims to address.
“Hindi dapat matakot ang public kasi the usual sila na ginagawa under MSA pagdating natin sa ganyang sitwasyon, alam ng navy natin ang gagawin nila,” she said.
This PN-RAN MSA will hold interoperability exercises on Naval Communication System, planning, individual shipboard training, maritime surveillance, and search and rescue. The PN-RAN MSA in Palawan is the 4th iteration of the said bilateral activity.
The activity kicked off with an opening ceremony at the Naval Station Apolinario Jalandoon Covered Court with Capt. Carlos Sabarre PN (GSC), deputy commander of the Navforwest, as the guest of honor. PNA