Manila Bulletin, Saturday, 22 August 2009
By: Elena Aben
The Exercise Southeast Asia Cooperation
Against Terrorism (SEACAT)
2009 concluded on Thursday in General
Santos City after participating assets
from the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao
(NFEM) have completed the series
of activities that began last Monday
in the waters off Zamboanga.
Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo said Naval Forces Western
Mindanao (NFWM) and NFEM dispatched
patrol gunboats, patrol ships,
and Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) teams to engage the United
States Navy Ship (USNS) Safeguard
in scenarios such as the Maritime
Interdiction Operation (MIO)and Visit
Board Search and Seizure (VBSS).
"These activities focused on information
exchange, coordinated surveillance
operations, locating, tracking,
and intercepting of enemies that allow
the participating naval forces to employ
appropriate measures in dealing with
pirates and other lawless elements at
sea during real-life situations," Arevalo
Also dispatched was the Philippine
Navy Islander aircraft that conducted
maritime air patrol/reconnaissance in
support of the floating assets, Arevalo
Coast Watch Station-Zamboanga
was also utilized during the exercise
in monitoring the movement of USNS
Safeguard - the designated target vessel
during the MIO and VBSS.
The USNS Safeguard sets sail to
Singapore for the closing ceremonies
the other day.
"By undertaking the exercise, participating
naval forces are exposed to
techniques useful to combat maritime
threats and fight lawless elements
operating in the high seas. The exercise
also enhances the naval forces'
cooperation." Arevalo said.