Sunday, May 8, 2011

Philippine Navy to hold maritime exercises in La Union

By Mario J. Mallari
The Daily Tribune, Sunday, May 8, 2011

To enhance the interoperability of its active and reserve forces particularly on humanitarian operations like disaster response, the Navy will hold maritime exercises starting tomorrow in La Union province.

Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama cited the importance of Exercise “Pagsasama” 2011 in enhancing the interoperability of Navy forces, both active and reserve, various facets of maritime service.

“This exercise is of utmost importance to the Navy and maritime stakeholder interests as it reinforces the bond between the active and reservist Navy personnel, as well as other stakeholders toward a stable and progressive maritime environment,” Pama said.

“What is most significant in this year’s exercise is the fact that the reservists are actively involved in all four phases of the exercise – from planning, to execution, to termination, and evaluation of the event,” Pama added.

The Navy tapped three ships and 135 active personnel, complemented by 631 Navy reservists, for the exercises. Pama will lead the send off of the participating troops tomorrow.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay said that the objective of this year’s exercise is to enhance interoperability of the regular and reserve forces through joint maritime and civil military operations by engaging maritime stakeholders in accordance with the military’s internal peace and security plan “Bayanihan”.

The exercise “Pagsasama” combines training, surface warfare, at-sea events and humanitarian assistance, and disaster response events.

It also includes pre-exercise activities such as cross-training, subject matter on expert-exchange, tactical maneuvers, shipboard evolutions for summer shipboard training cadets, civil military operations, communications equipment installation aboard participating ships, and logistics-provisions fill-up.

Likewise, the activity will include shore-based cross training exercise, at-sea fleet training exercise, a marine affiliated reserve combat service support battalion exercise, and a humanitarian assistance and disaster response simulation exercise.

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