Friday, June 24, 2011

PN-US SEACAT exercise 2011

Zamboanga Today, Friday, June 24, 2011

The Naval Forces Western Mindanao participated in the conduct of PN-USN exercise Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT 2011) together with other Naval Forces and Philippine Navy units in Mindanao area of operation from 14-24 June 2011 in the vicinity of Sulu Sea and Zamboanga Peninsula area of responsibility.
The purpose of the SEACAT 2011 training exercise is to give equal opportunity to both nations’ navies in dealing with maritime cooperation at sea. The exercise SEACAT is a scenario driven fleet training activity which focuses on real time information exchange, coordinated surveillance operations, tracking, and eventual conduct of actual vessel board search and seizure (VBSS) to the maritime contact of interest (COI). For this year, the exercise was conducted at the AORs of Naval Forces West, (NFW), Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM), and Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) respectively. The activity also involved PN surface, air and special operations units in the conduct of surveillance, tracking, and boarding of the contact of interest (The USS Safeguard Ship). One maritime Interdiction operations (MIO) scenario was conducted at each Naval Forces area of operation. The Naval Task Force 61 under NFWM took part in the PN-USN exercise SEACAT2011 in the vicinity of NFWM AOR utilizing PN assets particularly PG 117, PG390, DF333 and Naval Special Operation Unit 6 personnel (SEAL Teams) upon arrival of the Contact of Interest (COI)at the designated boarding area specifically in Basilan Strait on 22 June 2011. Boarding opportunity during the exercise was conducted by one (1) SEAL team aboard their two (2) 11- meters (RHIBS) with PG390 as support vessel in the said scenario.Likewise, Coast Watch South Center and all available CWS stations of all Naval Forces West, Western Mindanao and Eastern Mindanaowere utilized in order to test their capabilities in surveillance, tracking, and communications and operations activities. The end state of the exercise SEACAT 2011 is to promote regional coordination, combined inter-operability and also enhance the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) capabilities in its mandate to fight global terrorism, transnational crimes, and other maritime treats in the region as well. The exercise SEACAT 2011 was culminated after the completion of the visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) and upon signal from NFWM Exercise Battle Staff aboard Naval Forces Western Mindanao Operation Center.

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