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Navy sends sends off contingent for military exercise in Indonesia

The Philippine Navy (PN) on Friday sent-off its naval warship, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (FF15), and its 300-man contingent to the 3rd Multilateral Naval Exercise codenamed KOMODO (MNEK) 2018 in Indonesia from May 4 to 9.

Capt. Lued Lincuna, the PN spokesperson, said the ship departed South Harbor, Manila for Mataram City, Lombok Island, Indonesia. The contingent is expected to arrive at the Port of Lembar in Indonesia on May 4.

Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad witnessed the ceremony for the departing personnel from Civil Military Operations, medical, legal and special operations of the Navy.

Lincuna said this is the first International Defense and Security Engagement (IDSE) to be participated in by the PN this year.

Exercise KOMODO 2018 is the third multilateral naval exercise that will be hosted by the Indonesian Navy (IDN).

It aims to enhance the relationship and cooperation among participating navies in building common understanding about Humanitarian Assistance/ Disaster Response (HADR) operations and  Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO).

About 30 regional and non-regional navies from different countries will join this naval exercise. It will be executed ashore and will include subject matter expertise exchanges (SMEE) lectures, and afloat where sea and air assets, and special operations teams from participating navies will conduct combined maneuvers to address various contingencies at sea.

Exercises ashore include workshops, sports program, cultural performances, maritime exhibitions, Engineering Civic Action Projects (ENCAP) and Medical Civic Action Projects (MEDCAP).

The final day events will see a field training exercise FTX and a Sail Pass. This multilateral naval exercise is a platform on how the PN and other navies in the region can cooperate and work together to address shared maritime security priorities through the development of combined naval tactics, techniques and procedures.

Lincuna said President Rodrigo Duterte, through bilateral talks with other countries in the ASEAN region, wanted to fortify maritime security cooperation, especially in the country’s southern border.

A Trilateral Border Agreement among Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines have been developed purposely to address maritime security concerns in the area.

The agreement is expected to boost cooperation along the borders of the neighboring countries in a bid to thwart transnational organized crime such as drug trafficking and terrorism.#