ISABELA CITY, Basilan, July 1 (PIA) -– An Engineering Civic Action Project (ENCAP) jumpstarts the annual joint training exercise of United States forces and the Philippine Navy dubbed as Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2011 in Palawan.
The 6th Civil Relations Group of the Armed Forces of the Philippines disclosed that an advance party of the United States naval contingent to participate in ENCAP at Barangay Mangingisda of Puerto Princesa City last week. The ENCAP was started a week earlier than the scheduled opening of the military exercise.
The American Navy personnel headed by Lt. Jun Pilon together with troops from the Naval Task Group Palawan (SEABEES) headed by Ens. Christian Carmona and Naval Forces West (NFW) started conducting excavation, site preparation and layout last June 22 in preparation for the construction of a social hall and comfort rooms in West Elementary School. The project is expected to be finished before the end of the CARAT 2011 Exercise.
CARAT 2011 is a ten-day joint naval tactical operation exercise between the forces of the Philippine and US navies mandated under the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty. This year’s exercise will be held on the eastern waters of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan and in the Sulu Sea.
The annual joint military exercise, which is being held for more than 10 years now, aims to strengthen cooperation between the two naval forces in fighting intercontinental and trans-border crimes that includes piracy, smuggling, human trafficking and maritime crimes.
Aside from holding military exercise, several community service projects are also lined up as part of CARAT 2011. These include community relations, medical and dental and engineering civic actions in host communities.
The US Navy will be sending three of its naval ships for the joint military exercise: the USS Chung Hoon, USS Howard and USNS Safeguard. (6CRGAFP/RVC-PIA9 BaSulTa)