‘Terrorists’ with weapons of mass destruction neutralized in joint coast guard drill
MARIVELES, Bataan — A pretend-international terrorist group carrying weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) aboard a vessel was “neutralized” by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) along with its counterparts from Japan and United States during the drills held on Tuesday here in the West Philippine Sea.
PCG personnel intercepted the mock target BRP Melchora Aquino — dubbed as “MV Destroyer” throughout the exercise — which was en route the Philippine territory.
The scenario called for the PCG and “international terrorists” to figure in a firefight.
“It was noted that five were missing, and one was overboard, that was when we proceeded to search and rescue,” PCG deputy spokesperson Jherich John Ybañez said during an interview here on board BRP Cabra.
Third legend-class United States Coast Guard (USCG) cutter called USCGC Stratton and the Akitsushima vessel of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) joined the drills.
Ybañez also said BRP Gabriela Silang was employed as one of the working assets of the PCG, while BRP Suluan served as a security patrol vessel “to ensure that no vessels will come near this area while exercises are going on.”
It can be recalled that two China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels entered while PCG and the USCG conducted their search and rescue exercise last September 2022.
However, Ybañez denied that this incident with CCG has to do with the deployment of BRP Suluan as a security vessel.
“This is actually routinely; every time we have an activity like this, we make sure there is a security vessel to make sure onlookers or unaware vessels could not be in the area for safety purposes,” he stressed.
The first-ever trilateral maritime exercise between PCG and its counterparts in the United States and Japan began on June 1 and continued until June 7.