Wednesday, August 29, 2012

SEA countries hold naval exercises vs terrorism, crimes in high seas

In a bid to combat terrorism and other crimes in the high seas, Navy units from Southeast Asian countries opened on Tuesday annual naval exercises dubbed the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), to run until September 2.

The exercises, called SEACAT 2012, are being held at the Malacca Strait, Sulu Sea and Subic Bay, and participated in by the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. 

The United States Navy is also expected to join in a scenario-driven fleet training exercise against terrorism, transnational crimes and other maritime threats.

The Philippine Navy's Naval Forces West and Naval Forces Northern Luzon are part of this year's exercises and will deploy four ships and an islander aircraft

In a Training Directive, Navy Flag Officer In Command, Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said: “This activity will involve surface, air, and special operations units in the conduct of surveillance, tracking, and boarding of the Contact of Interest (COI) from the different participating navies within their respective maritime territories.”

As practiced in the yearly SEACAT, several ships from each participating Southeast Asian navy will join the training with one US Navy ship, USS Safeguard, designated as the COI for the participating Southeast Asian Navies.

In the Philippines, one Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) scenario with boarding opportunity will be conducted at Subic Bay and another one at the Sulu Sea. At the same time, Coast Watch stations in

the different participating Naval Forces areas will be utilized to exercise their capabilities in surveillance, tracking, communications, and operations.

With this training, the Philippine Navy said it will be able to enhance regional coordination, information sharing, and combined inter-operability capability with participating  navies in the region, test its personnel and naval assets operational readiness and ultimately, and improve the maritime security capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.-Interaksyon (August 28, 2012 5:21PM)

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