No show of force in PCG, USCG exercises

Search and rescue, more than a show of force, will be the focus of the upcoming maritime exercise between the Philippines and the United States Coast Guard this coming 3-4 September.

PCG spokesman, Commodore Armand Balilo said the exercise is not meant to intimidate other nations, particularly China but would delve more into safety and humanitarian efforts being the foremost mandate of the PCG and the USCG.

“Both China and the US are collaborating with us for joint exercises. I hope this will not be deemed as a show of force because if we can recall, we have also done a joint exercise with the China Coast Guard. There should be no issue here. We are here to save lives and we are pursuing that,” Balilo said.

Chosen as venues for the upcoming humanitarian exercises are Lubang Island within Mindoro, and somewhere in the West Philippine Sea near Zambales, according to Rear Admiral Charlie Rances, commander of the PCG fleet.

The exercises, are in line with the memorandum of agreement sealed between the PCG and USCG signed in 2021. They involve around 200 personnel of the USCG from its vessel Cutter Midgett
(WMSL-757), and 100 contingents from the PCG onboard BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301), BRP Malabrigo (MRRV-4402), BRP Boracay (FPB-2401), Balilo said.

“We are looking for the interoperability of the PCG and USCG during the joint search and rescue operations. Due to climate change and archipelagic nature, our country is prone to maritime accidents.

Thus, we are striving in making efforts to minimize the loss of lives at sea and to prevent sea mishaps,” Rances said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *