Zamboanga City, Philippines — The Philippine Navy welcomes the visit of the Royal Australian Navy Vessels – Her Majesty Australian Ship (HMAS) Larrakia and Her Majesty Australian Ship (HMAS) Maitland and delegates on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 at Zamboanga City Port.
The Commander of the Western Mindanao Command, Naval Forces Western Mindanao, Rear Adm. Rene V. Medina AFP together with the Ambassador of Australia, Her Excellency Amanda Gorely and Australian Defense Attache, Capt. Bradley Ian White CSC, RAN welcomed the officers and crew of the two Australian vessels.
The event was also attended by the City Mayor of Zamboanga Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and other officials of the local government and NFWM stakeholders.
Part of the visit is the Open House/ Shipboard Tour that was held aboard the two RAN Ship – HMAS Larrakia and HMAS Maitland and open for public viewing to the locals of Zamboanga City from 9 o’clock in the morning until 12 o’clock in the afternoon.
The visit of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is in connection with the conduct of the Combined Philippine Navy-Royal Australian Navy Maritime Security Engagement from November 10 to December 1, 2017 which will be held along the Naval Forces Western Mindanao Area of Responsibility.
The engagement involves a series of meeting procedures and planning/coordination for the conduct of the combined patrols in NFWM Area of Responsibility. This is likewise in support to the anti-terrorism and piracy campaign of the government.
The assets involved under the control of NFWM were ships of Naval Task Force (NTF) 61 namely, BRP Dioscoro Papa (PC 381); BRP General Mariano Alvarez (PS 28); BRP Davao Del Sur (LD 602) and BRP Emilio Liwanag (PC 118). Assets from RAN were the HMAS Larrakia (ACPB 84) and HMAS Maitland (ACPB 88), both Armidale Class Patrol Boats.
Last Sept. 22-25, 2017, RAN Ship HMAS Parramatta and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF 16) had its successful execution of Passing Exercises (PASSEX) and Communications and Electronics Exercise (COMMELEX) along the vicinity of Sulu Sea.
Aside from enhancing the maritime cooperation with other regional navies, the training activity with RAN to secure the vast maritime domain of the Sulu Sea proves that the Philippine Navy particularly the Naval Forces Western Mindanao does not work alone in protecting and maintaining the peace, order and stability in its area of responsibility.
The visit is expected to build a strong relationship between the Philippine Navy and the Royal Australian Navy when it comes to maritime patrol and security.
The Philippines in coordination and cooperation with the Navies from Indonesia and Malaysia established a Trilateral Cooperative Agreement (TCA) agreeing “to encourage the operationalization of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Maritime Patrol and Rendering Immediate Assistance, Operating Guidelines on Information and Intelligence Sharing and Combined Communication Plan.”-Richard G. Falcatan with PR from WestMincom