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PH, other Asian nations hold drills on sea piracy, smuggling, terrorism off Subic Bay

PH, other Asian nations hold drills on sea piracy, smuggling, terrorism off Subic Bay

Realistic training scenarios, like stopping a ship from sabotaging a commercial and shipping activity, while in the waters off Subic Bay near the West Philippine Sea was conducted by Asian maritime forces, including the Philippines and the United States Monday.

A whole-day exercise against piracy, smuggling, and terrorism in sea were carried out yesterday by 150 personnel from different Southeast Asian countries — Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore,Sri Lanka,Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

The exercise, which was part of the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), was spearheaded by the United States Coast Guard and US Navy Maritime Security Response team.

In one of the scenarios, the maritime forces had to do “identification, tracking, boarding,search” on a ship that attempted to sabotage commercial and shipping activities. The incident was then reported to alert all maritime centers and deploy law enforcement teams from the member countries.

The BRP Batangas and six floating assets of the PCG were utilized during the exercise.

According to the Philippine Coast Guard, the host of this year’s SEACAT, the exercise off Subic Bay is the final phase of the Southeast Asian meet, which aims to strengthen the inter operability of the participants in maritime terrorism operations.

Various exercises like maritime interdiction operation/vessel board, search and seizure (MIO/VBSS) workshop to level-up the best practices of use of force and demonstration of arresting techniques; and lecture on smuggling trends were also conducted during the week-long training exercises.

Other exercises were drills on flex and handcuffing, positive control measures for compliant and non-compliant boarding, and multiple-man room entry, tactical team movement and inspections and weapons retention.