Wednesday, August 26, 2009

US warship stopped off Mindanao

Philippine Star, Saturday, 22 August 2009
By: Jaime Laude

Philippine Navy gunboats stopped a
US warship off the coast of Mindanao
and Navy commandos went on board as
part of regional war games with the US
Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo said commandos from Naval
Forces Eastern Mindanao and Naval
Force Western Mindanao boarded the
USNS Safeguard during a drill concluding
the weeklong regional naval anti-terror
exercise dubbed SEACAT (Southeast
Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism).
SEACAT involved a series of activities
that started Monday in waters off the
Zamboanga Peninsula.
The militalry exercise called for the deployment
of Navy gunboats, patrol ships,
and Naval Special Operations commandos to engage the Safeguard as part of
Maritime Interdiction Operation and Visit
Board Search and Seizure.
"These activities focused on information
exchange, coordinated surveillance
operations, locating, tracking, and intercepting
of enemies that allow the participating navies to employ appropriate
measures in dealing with pirates and other
lawless elements at sea during real-life
situations," Arevalo said.
A Philippine Navy reconnaissance
plane monitored the Safeguard's movement
in Mindanao waters.
Following the conclusion of the exercise
in General Santos City the other day,
the Safeguard sailed to Singapore for the
closing ceremony of the regional sea drill.
"By undertaking the exercise, participating navies exposed to techniques
useful to combat maritime threats and
fight lawless elements operating in the
high seas," Arevalo said.

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