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PH, Australia up for another Maritime Security Activity

The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Mindanao Command on Monday welcomed two Royal Australian Navy patrol ships – Her Majesty Australian Ship (HMAS) Albany and Her Majesty Australian Ship Glenelg – in a ceremony at Zamboanga City Pier on Monday.

The Philippine Navy (PN) vessel, BRP General Mariano Alvarez,  led by Lt. Commdr. Ted Cerezo conducted a Meeting Procedure for Entering Harbor with the Royal Australian Navy vessels at 3.8 nautical miles Southeast off Tictabon Island in Zamboanga City.

The arrival of the visiting ships marked the start of the 3rd Combined Maritime Security Activity between the PN and Australian Navy.

Col. Hernanie Songano, deputy commander for marine operations,  represented  Rear Adm. Rene Medina, commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao. He led Filipino naval officers and enlisted personnel in welcoming the Australian delegates headed by Lt. Col. Judd Finger, Commander of Joint Task Force 629.

Activities included maritime patrols in the Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs), particularly in the waters of ZAMPELAN, Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi. Various ship drills aboard PN and RAN vessels for the benefit and readiness of crew on board will also be undertaken.

A Coordinating/Planning Conference was held by RAN Joint Task Force 629 with the PN counterparts as preparation for the conduct of the 3rd MSA.

The PN will be using vessels namely, BRP Cebu (PS 28), BRP Anastacio Cacayorin (PS 381), BRP Dioscoro Papa (PC 381), BRP Filipino Flojo (PC 386) and BRP Gen Mariano Alvarez to participate in the maritime patrol.

On the other hand, HMAS Albany and HMAS Glenelg will represent the Royal Australian Navy.

According to the PN, the cooperation and continued conduct of naval activities with other regional navies had helped the government in preventing piracy, kidnappings, and terrorism at sea.

It said PN efforts, particularly the engagement of the Fleet-Marine Team in Western Mindanao, had helped maintain a safe naval environment in its area of responsibility. #

Photos by Naval Forces Western Mindanao