Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Philippines joins SE Asia, US in naval drills

By Xinhua
The Brunei Times, Wednesday, June 15, 2011

THE Philippine Navy has joined navy units of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the US for a 10-day annual exercise starting yesterday to enhance interoperability and share best practices.

According to Navy Captain Sebastian Pan, the exercise director, the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) will take place in Malacca Strait, Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea until June 24.Pan said the navy units of the five Southeast Asian countries together with the US Navy will participate in a scenario-driven fleet training exercise against terrorism, transnational crimes and other maritime threats."This activity will involve surface, air, and special operations units in the conduct of surveillance, tracking, and boarding of the COI from the different participating navies within their respective maritime territories," he said. Exercise SEACAT is an annual combined exercise conducted at vital sea lanes in Southeast Asia to ensure control of sea lanes from terrorists, poachers, and transnational lawless elements.Venues have been determined in advance during coordinated planning sessions and are finalised following confirmation from all participating navies. This exercise aims to promote regional coordination, information sharing and interoperability in a multilateral environment.

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