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Phil, Australian navies kick-off 3rd Maritime Security Activity in Zambo

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The Philippine Navy and the Australian Navy began on Monday the 3rd combined maritime security activity in the waters of the southern region of Mindanao.

A welcoming ceremony for the arrival of Royal Australian Navy patrol ships was accorded by the Naval Forces Western Mindanao in Zamboanga City.

“The arrival of the Royal Australian Navy Ships - Her Majesty Australian Ship (HMAS) Albany and Her Majesty Australian Ship Glenelg marks the start of the 3rd MSA,” Deputy Commander for Marine Operations Col. Hernie Songano, who represented NFWM commander Rear Admiral Rene Medina, said in a speech.

Other officers and enlisted personnel from WestMinCom and NFWM along with its partner-stakeholders joined in welcoming the Australian delegates headed by Lt. Col. Judd Finger, Commander of Joint Task Force 629.

Before the ceremony, top brass of the Philippine Navy vessel “BRP”, conducted a meeting procedure for entering harbor with the Royal Australian Navy vessels at 3.8 nautical miles Southeast off Tictabon Island, Zamboanga City.

Medina said part of the activity is the series of maritime patrols in the Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs) particularly in the waters of Basilan and Tawi-Tawi.

He said various ship drills aboard PN (Philippine Navy) and RAN (Royal Australian Navy) vessels will also be undertaken for the benefit and readiness of crew on board.

Prior to this, the Navy commander a Coordinating/Planning Conference was held by RAN Joint Task Force 629 with the PN counterparts as preparation for the conduct of the 3rd MSA.

“Initially, the PN will be utilizing the following vessels to participate in the 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. While HMAS Albany and HMAS Glenelg will represent the Royal Australian Navy.”

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, according to Medina.

The efforts of the military particularly the engagement of the Fleet-Marine Team in the Western Mindanao upholds the efforts of the government to maintain a safe maritime environment in Western Mindanao Command’s Area of Responsibility (AOR), he concluded. Hader Glang




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