PCG, US Coast Guard to hold search and rescue exercises in September | Global News

PCG, US Coast Guard to hold search and rescue exercises in September

/ 04:53 PM August 30, 2022
Arrival ceremony arranged by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for servicemen aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Midgett. Photo by INQUIRER.net

Arrival ceremony arranged by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for servicemen aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Midgett. Photo by INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Some 300 personnel from the Coast Guard of the Philippines and the United States will conduct a joint search and rescue operation on September 3, Saturday.

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In light of the upcoming exercise, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Midgett (WMSL-757) has docked in the vicinity waters off Manila Bay on Tuesday.

The arrival of the vessel was marked by an arrival ceremony arranged by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

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Present in the ceremony were US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Loss Carlson, Commander of the Coast Guard Fleet Rear Admiral Charlie Rances, and US Coast Guard Cutter Midgett Captain Willie Carmichael.

PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said some 200 US Coast Guard crew and 100 personnel from PCG would conduct the joint search and rescue operation.

Rances said there has yet to be a final venue for the exercise, but they are looking into two areas, namely: near Lubang Island in Mindoro, and somewhere in the West Philippine Sea near Zambales.

Arrival ceremony arranged by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for servicemen aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Midgett. Photo by INQUIRER.net

Photos by INQUIRER.net

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

Chinese reaction

Balilo expressed optimism that this exercise will not elicit any adverse reaction from China.

“There’s nothing to worry about this exercise because this is search and rescue,” Balilo said in a chance interview when asked if there are contingencies should China react.

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“This is a humanitarian job, a humanitarian function of the coast guard at wala tayong pinaguusapang sigalot dito (and we are not talking about any conflicts here.)”

Balilio, when asked if this exercise might worsen tensions between US and China, said: “Hopefully not.”

More Coast Guard engagement

Carlson said the United States is looking into expanding its Coast Guard engagement with its counterpart to improve the two nations’ maritime interoperability.

“There is no stronger reflection of our bilateral alliance than the visits and exchanges between our uniformed services,” Carlson said in her speech.

“The US Coast Guard is a vital and growing part of these interactions, and we plan to expand US Coast Guard engagement in the Philippines over the months and years to come.”

Carlson said this joint military exercise will contribute to both countries’ “shared goal of open and secure Indo-Pacific.”

“We know that many exciting opportunities lie ahead,” she added.

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TAGS: joint exercises, Philippine Coast Guard, US Coast Guard (USCG)
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