Americas News

PHL, US naval ships hold anti-submarine drills in Southern Luzon

MANILA – Naval ships of the Philippines and the United States held anti-submarine warfare (ASW) drills during the ongoing “Exercise Samasama” in the waters of Southern Luzon.

“To enhance the ASW capabilities of the participating Navy ships, an expendable mobile anti-submarine warfare training target (EMATT) was used to mimic the acoustic signature of submarines, enabling the naval forces to practice and refine their ASW tactics,” Naval Forces Southern Luzon (NFSL) public affairs office chief Lt. Kim Paulo Lopez said.

Some of the naval ships participating in “Exercise Samasama”, which runs from Oct. 2 to 13, include the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) and the US Navy’s USS Dewey (DDG-105).

The ASW drill is part of “Exercise Samasama’s” three-day sea phase that started over the weekend.

Other exercises that took place include the “communications check” between USS Dewey and shore-based units of the US Marine Corps to verify if sensors and communication systems of the participants are operational.

“Subsequently, Navy ships conducted the maritime domain awareness (MDA) exercise as the initial scenario prior proceeding to the visit board search and seizure (VBSS) exercise conducted by the joint boarding force from the PN provided by BRP Lolinato To-Ong (PG-902) and from the USN,” Lopez noted.

During the MDA, Navy ships performed the appropriate protective formation while understanding the maritime domain, vessel movements and environmental conditions.

“MDA exercise was participated by US P-8 and PN King Air C-90 aircraft to demonstrate the sharing of information for maritime security. After detecting a vessel of interest, the joint boarding team of the PN and the USN boarded the designated vessel of interest to conduct the proper boarding process in adherence to international legal standards,” Lopez added.

After the VBSS exercise, USS Dewey and BRP Antonio Luna performed replenishment at sea approaches with supply ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE-8).

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ADELAIDE, Australia – The Australian and Philippine governments are finalizing plans for  their upcoming joint sail in the South China Sea, Australia’s envoy said as she assured that the activity is going to proceed.

“We’re not making an announcement on when but the intention remains as the leaders announced for a joint sail in the West Philippine… in an appropriate maritime location (that) is yet to be announced,” said Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

The future joint sail will come as Manila and Canberra seek increased engagements as strategic partners in the region.

Wong reaffirmed that Australia would continue to help enhance the Philippines’ maritime capabilities through technical training, activities on the monitoring and protection of oceans and provision of new equipment to the Philippine Coast Guard.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Wong met for the 6th Philippine-Australia Ministerial Meeting in Adelaide to discuss a wide range of issues, including law and justice, trade and investment, development, and security and defense.

During the meeting, Manalo said the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea “remains a foremost regional concern”.

“I reaffirmed the Philippines’ unwavering commitment to a rules-based international order and adherence to international law especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the final and binding 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award,” he said.

He thanked Australia anew for backing the award, adding that Manila and Canberra as maritime nations ”share a commitment to preserving freedom of navigation and overflight and upholding the rule of law” in the area.