The Philippine Navy (PN) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is conducting a 10-day maritime security activity to enhance the capabilities and readiness of sailors of the two countries in combating terrorism at sea

Dubbed as the 5th Combined PN-RAN Maritime Security Activity, the joint exercise kicked off on Monday following the arrival of the RAN vessel, Her Majesty Australian Ship (HMAS)-Launceston, in this city. The activity ends on October 4.

Rear Adm. Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) commander, said the joint exercise includes maritime patrols in the waters Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

Aboardship drills will also be conducted to enhance the capabilities and readiness of crew on board the participating vessels, Medina said.

Medina said the NFWM is utilizing BRP-General Mariano Alvarez (PS-38), while the RAN is the HMAS-Launceston in the joint maritime exercise.

“These continuous engagement with other regional navies are part of the anti-piracy and anti-terrorism campaign of the government which helps curb the security threats that are affecting the Islands of Mindanao,” he said.

“It is also a sign that both countries share a strong relationship in matters of security through this activity,” he added.

Capt. John Cowan, RAN contingent head, said that the battle against terrorism is a common fight between the two countries, which shared regional maritime security concerns.

With the exercise, Medina said the NFWM can assure the Filipino people–particularly the surrounding communities of Southern Mindanao–“that it will continue to uphold its mandate of protecting our sovereign seas and ensuring that security threats and terrorism will be finally put to an end for a peaceful and secured Mindanao.” (PNA)

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1049050