The Daily Manila Shimbun


US, Philippine navies complete coordinated patrol in Sulu Sea

July 1, 2017

The US and Philippine navies completed a coordinated patrol in the Sulu Sea on Saturday, the United States Embassy said in a press release issued Saturday. The embassy noted the naval patrol was conducted "at the invitation of the Government of the Philippines." "During the operation, crews from the Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) and the Del Pilar Class Frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF 16) worked closely together to detect and deter threats to maritime security," it said. Quoting Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson, US Navy Task Force 73 Commander, noted  these patrols enhance peace and stability in the region. "Our at-sea operations with the Philippine Navy demonstrate our commitment to the alliance and deter piracy and illegal activities," he said. It did not say when the patrol began. The US Embassy also mentioned "as part of the operation, a group of Philippine Navy sailors embarked on USS Coronado to coordinate communications and movements between the two ships." "The Philippine sailors also exchanged best practices with their US counterparts in visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) techniques and information sharing," it said. "The patrol strengthened maritime security cooperation between the US and Philippine navies and enhanced both navies’ ability to respond to piracy and transnational criminal activity at sea," it added. "It further demonstrates US commitment to the security of the Philippines and enduring U.S. interest in promoting stability and prosperity in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region," the embassy stated. It also mentioned that prior to the coordinated patrol, USS Coronado also participated in the Maritime Training Activity Sama Sama with the Philippine Navy at the vicinity of Cebu in previous month. "The exercise provided opportunities to sharpen tactical skills in maritime security operations that were employed during the coordinated patrol," it said. "The US and the Philippines continue to work together on a number of initiatives and conduct regular military exchanges through routine participation in bilateral and multilateral exercises such as Balikatan, the Maritime Training Activity Sama Sama, Southeast Asian Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), the Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC), the Asian Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-Plus), and other bilateral subject matter expert exchanges," it added. Robina Asido/DMS