Saturday, May 29, 2010

RP's first line of defense vs external security threat almost done


The Philippine STAR NEWS SUNDAY, MAY 16,2010 page 10

The country's first line of
defense against external security
threats is already 60 percent complete with just a few
adjustments to make it fully operational, Navy chief Rear
Admiral Danilo Cortez announced
yesterday. Dubbed Coast Watch Philippines,
Cortez said this first line of defense is envisioned
after Coast Watch South now in full operation and monitoring
major activities in the sea lanes, particularly in southern
Mindanao. Coast Watch South is a combined anti-terror under-.
taking by the United States, Australian and Philippine
governments to monitor and intercept local and foreign terrorists
leaving and entering the country through the southern
backdoor, The US and British governments
have installed monitoring systems at various key points in the country.
"Our Coast Watch Philippines is 60 percent complete
and I intend to pursue this project under my watch as
Navy chief," Cortez said. Cortez took over the reign
of the more than 20,000-strong Navy yesterday, succeeding
Vice Admiral Ferdinand Golez who retired from the service.
After installation of these radar monitoring systems are
completed, Cortez said technical people will be working
to "harmonize and integrate operations" of the two systems
to be fully operational. Cortez declined to elaborate
on the details of the project for security reasons.
It was learned, however, the project involved key government
and private agencies that are sending out actual time
information on what is happening in the country's major
sea lanes. "We will endeavor to enhance
the connectivity of the existing and newly-built radar
stations with the Coast Watch Center. Once fully operational,
we can monitor all significant activities in all of the country's
major sea lanes," Cortez said. A Naval officer added Coast
Watch Philippine will function
just like the US's 911,wherein people will be manning its
nerve center and relay all significant events monitored via
installed radar stations in key points of the country.
"This will not only involve the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) but other government agencies. If they see
something illegal like smuggling and illegal fishing activities,
the center will immediately relay this to the nearest
Naval or Coast Guard st1tion for immediate action," the official
said. The same procedures will also be followed if there are air
or sea intrusions by unfriendly military forces or unidentified
vessels or aircraft, "So this is our first line of defense. If the threat is
monitored on the country's airspace, the Air Force will
be immediately informed for appropriate action. If it is on
the sea, then our Navy will be dispatched," the officer said.

No comments:

Post a Comment