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PH, Indonesia open joint maritime activity

The Philippines and Indonesia opened on Monday their first joint maritime training activity in Davao City that will further enable the two countries’ navies to face problems in maritime security.

Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., commander of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), led the opening ceremony of the First Philippine-Indonesia Maritime Training Activity at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Panacan, Davao City.

The opening ceremony was attended by Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao commander and Commodore Antonio Places; First Admiral Rachmad Jahadi, commandant of the Maritime Security Task Force of Second Fleet Command of the Indonesian Navy; and other delegates from the Philippines and Indonesia.

Personnel from the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao and members of the Indonesian Second Command Fleet will participate under the activity in joint drills, which will be held for a week and hosted by the Philippines.

Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, EastMinCom spokesman, said the drills include naval doctrine discussion, tabletop exercises and open sea drills and maneuvers, “which aim to enhance the readiness of both navies in addressing their common maritime security concerns and interests.”

Santos, during his speech at the opening ceremony, highlighted the importance of Philippine and Indonesian forces taking a “proactive stance to be abreast with the dynamic maritime security environment.”

“It is imperative for us to keep up with the ever-changing maritime security environment and develop more robust approaches in addressing maritime security,” he said.

Four naval ships coming from the Philippines and Indonesia shall be deployed to take part in the activity.

On the Philippines’ side, the BRP Apolinario Mabini and the BRP Liberato Picar will be utilized by the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, while on Indonesia’s side, its forces will use the KRI Layang and KRI Pandarong. All will be sailing in Philippine waters.

Delegates from Indonesia are preparing for the “future conduct of coordinated patrol along the common borders of the two countries in the Celebes Sea,” Balagtey said.

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