Tuesday, February 15, 2011

USS Blue Ridge Hosts Philippine Navy Engineers

By Brian A. Stone, Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class
Japan Bases, Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sailors aboard 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) brought sailors from the Philippine Navy into the command ship’s engineering department for a professional development exchange.

Engineers from Blue Ridge demonstrated the use of damage control equipment, U.S. Navy firefighting techniques and gave a tour of the ship's boiler’s and engine room.

Machinists Mate 2nd Class Pierre Angeles, a boiler technician of the watch, discussed U.S. Navy methods of conventional engine operation and maintenance, as well as discussing propulsion theory with hands-on demonstrations.

As a native of the city of Marikina, Philippines, knowing the culture and local language of Tagalog made it easier to interact with the tour guests and share experience, said Angeles.

“It feels great to see our counterparts here,” said Angeles. “We rarely have an opportunity to do something like this.”

Damage Controlman 2nd Class William Julian demonstrated the use of firefighting equipment in damage control drills to the visiting sailors.
“I think they learned a lot today,” said Julian. “I always think it’s good for to work with other militaries like this. It lets us understand each other better and get to know how they work in the same kind of environment.”

Ensign Ranier Ybañez, a Philippine Navy sailor assigned to Headquarters, Assault Craft Force, said he was particularly interested in learning about the way the U.S. Navy organizes damage control training.

“I’ve been learning a lot from the Americans,” said Ybañez. “We’ve learned a lot today that we can take back and teach to our troops on our own ships.”

Blue Ridge serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Task Force (CTF) 76, the Navy's only forward deployed amphibious force. Blue Ridge is the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. CTF 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.


P-NOY talks with soldiers

The Philippine Star, Tuesday, February 15, 2011

President Aquino talks with soldiers during a dialogue at Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo, Sulu last Feb 11. after distributing food packs to 300 families displaced by flash floods in the province.

P-NOY Cares

Tonight, Tuesday, February 15, 2011

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III talks with soldiers during a dialogue in Camp Teodulfo Bautista,Jolo, Sulu last February 11, after distributing food packs to 300 families displaced by flash floods and a tornado. The calamities destroyed some P100-Million worth of property in two municipalities and six barangays prompting Jolo Mayor Hussin Amin to declare a State of Calamity in the entire municipality.

Drenched in Sulu

Philippine Daily Inquirer, Tuesday, February 15, 2011

President Aquino holds a dialogue with soldiers in the rain at Camp Teodulfo Bautista, Jolo Sulu, on Friday. The President earlier distributed food packs to 300 families displaced by recent flash floods that destroyed some P100 Million worth of property in two Sulu towns.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

US Navy ship visit

Philippine Daily Inquirer, Monday, February 14, 2011

The Philippine Marines band welcomes the USS Blue Ridge to Manila yesterday. Last here in August 2010, the flagship of the US Navy's Seventh Fleet is on a routine four-day port call and will conduct civic-military activities in the country.

Aquino boosts morale of government troops in Jolo

By Roel Pareño
The Philippine Star, Saturday, February 12, 2011

ZAMBOANGA CITY ,Philippines – President Aquino braved the rain to talk to Marines in an open court in Jolo, Sulu yesterday morning, in what was described as aiming to boost their morale amid allegations of corruption in the military.

Aquino, clad in a blue polo shirt and denim pants, commended the soldiers for their prompt response at the height of flash floods in the capital town of Jolo that killed six people and displaced thousands last week.

In the brief meeting at the headquarters of the 3rd Marine Brigade in Camp Teodulfo Bautista, Aquino lauded the soldiers for being pro-people, showing they were not just for combat operations.

Aquino announced an increase in the soldiers’ combat pay from P250 to P500 plus monthly and promised that military equipment such as aircraft and seacraft would be upgraded for their mobility.

He also vowed to provide the soldiers with personal combat equipment and free housing.

Earlier yesterday, Aquino, accompanied by Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman, was briefed by Jolo officials led by Mayor Hussin Amin on the extent of the damage wreaked by the flash floods.

Aquino later distributed relief goods to the displaced residents before meeting the Marines. He flew back to Zamboanga City on his way to Manila.

Aquino in Tarlac

Manila Bulletin, Wednesday, February 9, 2011

President Aquino (Left), accompanied by Defense Secretarry Voltaire Gazmin (partly hidden), inspects the Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) for Disposal at the Crow Valley Gunnery Range, also known as the Tarlac Military testing Ground, in Camp O'Donnell in Tarlac last Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011. The President ordered the explosive experts to ensure the safety of the communities around the camp during disposal operations today, Feb. 9, 2011. Also in Photo is Rear Admiral Alexander P. Pama (right), 32nd Flag Officer in Command, Philippine Navy. (Malacañang Photo)

Sulu Officials seek aid for flood victims

By Noynoy E Lacson
Manila Bulletin, Tuesday, February 8, 2011

JOLO, Sulu – Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan made an appeal to the national government for help to the flood victims in this capital town after Mayor Hussin Amin placed the area under a “state of calamity” due to flashfloods that hit many areas of the municipality since last Thursday.

Rep. Habib Tupay Loong (1st District, Sulu) also arrived here Monday morning from Manila to personally assess the situation of the flood victims that totaled about 1,140 households with an estimated 4,560 individuals.

Loong also called on President Aquino to personally inform him about the calamity that hit the town, as he also appealed for an immediate help for the people of this town.

A similar appeal was also made by Loong in separate calls he made to House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, Department of Social Services and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Soliman, and to the Department of National Defense (DND).

Meanwhile, Tan reported that floodwaters have started to subside in some villages here where it earlier reached about five feet high – sweeping away houses and left five people dead.

“The flood is receding now, but there are some areas in Jolo like the village of Asturias where water is still about knee-deep,” Tan said.

Amin described the calamity here as “the worst flashfloods that have hit this town in many years.” Amin said that the damage brought about by the flood may breach the P100 million.

He said a portion of the wharf was also destroyed and goods being sold at the barter trading center here were also swept away by floodwaters on Friday.

As this developed, Tan and Amin jointly distributed yesterday relief goods to displaced residents here who were evacuated in other areas.

“We have been working on a 24-hour shift to ensure that the flood victims are taken cared of, especially the children,” Tan said.

“I hope the national government could extend the needed help for us to slowly recover again, and put in place again all the damaged infrastructures due to the flood,” Amin said.

A boat of the Philippine Navy stationed in Zamboanga City was also dispatched here to bring in relief goods from the Region 9 office of the DSWD.

Rubber boats were also mobilized since Thursday by the Philippine Marines and by the American troops of the Special Operations Task Force to assist the DSWD personnel here in providing meals and drinking water to the flood victims.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Exercise Pagsisikap 2011

By King Rodriguez

Government troops join the military exercise dubbed as "Exercise Pagsisikap 2011" in the coastal Barangay of Kingking in Pantukan, Compostela Valley on Thursday.

Navy, Marine show strength in exercise

By Ben O Tesiorna
Sunstar Davao, Friday, 28 January 2011

PANTUKAN, Compostela Valley -- A military exercise conducted by the Philippine Navy in the idyllic coastal Barangay of Kingking here drew more than a thousand spectators as the military showcased their latest sea vessels as well as the capability of the Marine soldiers and the elite Navy Seals.

Commodore Philip Cacayan of the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) said the Fleet-Marine exercise dubbed as "Exercise Pagsisikap 11" is designed to test, evaluate and enhance the capability of their units in conducting Fleet-Marine operations.

Thursday's exercise was participated in by a Navy patrol ship, two patrol gunboats, two multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC), Navy Seals with fast patrol boats and a company from the 1st Marine Brigade.

A Navy Islander aircraft and a Huey helicopter were also utilized during the military exercise.

The MPACs were recently bought by the Philippine Navy at an estimated value of P75 million each. They presently have three MPACs and three more are scheduled for delivery thru the Armed Forces of the Philippines' modernization program.

MPACs is expected to boost the Navy's special operations and in other emergency situations. It will also enhance the Navy's conduct of maritime operations.

MPAC can transport limited number of personnel and equipment at a high speed of 40 knots and can be deployed to areas during emergencies to deliver the much-needed services to far-flung areas around the country.

Cacayan said the coastal town of Pantukan was chosen as the ideal site for their exercise because of its proximity to the NFEM headquarters in Panacan, Davao City.

"Compostela Valley is also one of the provinces, which has not been visited by the Navy before so we have chosen that area to let the local residents know that they have a Navy that can help them in their quest for peace and development in their area," Cacayan said.

An American mining firm is also set to operate in the mountainous area of Pantukan this year fuelling speculations that the military exercise could be a show of force to assure the American company of the security of their operations in the area.

Militant organizations also claimed that American military personnel are involved in the naval exercise. Commodore Cacayan denied this though saying that the exercise was initially scheduled in 2010 but due to their numerous activities they moved it to January 27, 2011.

Lt. Gen. Arthur Tabaquero, chief of the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command, meanwhile congratulated the Philippine Navy for their exemplary show of wares and skills.

"It's the best exercise I have seen for many years. A clear manifestation that the Navy and the Marines can secure use anytime of the day," Tabaquero said.

Businessman and 705th Squadron Naval Reserve Command Capt. Marfenio Tan also expressed satisfaction on the capability of the Philippine Navy. He said they will also be conducting another exercise in General Santos dubbed as "Exercise Sikat."

The local government of Pantukan, led by Mayor Tok Sarenas was also present to witness the naval exercise. Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy also sent his gratitude to the Philippine Navy for choosing his province as the venue of the exercise.

Navy to conduct Fleet Exercise

Sunstar, Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) Command will conduct a Fleet-Marine Exercise this week to enhance their troop capability.

Dubbed as "Exercise Pagsisikap 2011", in an opening ceremony Tuesday at Naval Station Felix Apolinario Panacan, this city, Commodore Philip L. Cacayan, Commander of NFEM, said the exercise has been conceptualized to enhance the fleet-marine amphibious capability of NFEM in support to the internal security operations of Eastern Mindanao Command.

Cacayan said the exercise aims to test and evaluate the "interoperability of fleet and marine units" with other services operating in a maritime environment against enemy threats.

Cacayan added that the exercise would also show people that the navy is capable enough and ready to serve the public in their best way.

Major General Rustico Guerrero, Commandant of Philippine Marine Corps (PMC), also assured the public in doing their best in training its men, as keeping their capabilities and abilities to provide security on the community.

Guerrero said as part of the contribution of the PMC, the corps will also establish a Warfighting and Lessons Learned Center this year, which will analyze all after battle and operation reports accumulated throughout its service.

Cacayan said the exercise will be compose of staff exercise, series of at sea serials, tactical maneuvers, maritime surveillance exercise, visit board search and seizure of a Philippine Navy auxiliary reserve unit vessel, amphibious raid, multi-purpose assault craft capability demonstration, and fleet-marine review.

"We have different scenario in our exercise in which dito masusubukan kung ano yung reaction ng ating mga sundalo, sailors, and marines," Guerrero said.