US Coast Guard cutter docks in Manila Bay in prelude to drills with PHL counterparts

USCGC Midgett (WMSL 757)

A United States Coast Guard (USCG) cutter docked in Manila on Tuesday for maritime exercise with its Philippine counterpart set to begin on Thursday.

The USCG Cutter Midgett (WMSL-757) dropped anchor at the Manila Bay and was welcomed by US and Philippine officials, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Loss Carlson joined Coast Guard Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Charlie Rances in welcoming Midgett and its crew who will join the PCG in a search and rescue (SAR) exercise this week.

During the said maritime drill, PCG and USCG personnel will simulate communication exercises, maneuvering, technical demonstrations, flight operations, small boat operations, medical assistance and resolution.

Representing the PCG during the joint SAR exercise will be the 83-meter offshore patrol vessel BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301), BRP Malabrigo (MRRV-4402), BRP Boracay (FPB-2401 and a Coast Guard Aviation Force (CGAF) helicopter.

According to Rances, the exercise is aimed at addressing maritime safety challenges by assessing the PCG and USCG’s capability for information exchange and interoperability at sea.

“As we want to maximize this opportunity for growth and development of our human resource, we make sure to capitalize on the subject matter exchange with a focus on search and rescue operations,” Rances said.

“Due to climate change and our archipelagic nature, our country is prone to maritime accidents. Thus, we are striding to minimize loss of lives at sea and prevent sea mishaps,” he added.

On the other hand, Carlson expressed hope that the joint SAR exercise will intensify cooperation between the Philippines and the United States, specifically in upholding maritime safety and maritime law enforcement.

“As allies, strengthening our ability to work together in critical areas, such as search and rescue and maritime law enforcement, contributes to advancing our shared goals of a more connected, open, and secure Indo-Pacific,” Carlson said.

“It will also enable us to advance our training in information exchange with the PCG by supporting consultations and demonstrations on vital capabilities, such as shipboard helicopter operations, reviewing sea procedures, engineering evolutions, and command and control processes. These activities will provide immediate benefits for all participants and help shape the evolution of our cooperative efforts,” the envoy added.

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons



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