PH, US Marines out to foil fresh sky intruder in Zambales new ship-sinking drill
Photo taken in April this year shows President Marcos alighting from a truck equipped with US High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems used in the “Balikatan” exercises between the United States and the Philippines in San Antonio, Zambales. (GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / INQUIRER)[/ception]
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine and United States Marines will bolster its security measures to avoid another aerial intruder in the second ship-sinking exercises in 2023 involving a decommissioned Philippine Navy tanker serving as a mock enemy ship.
Elements from the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) and United States Marine Corps (USMC) will work on sinking former BRP Lake Caliraya as part of Marine Aviation Support Activity (Masa).
The exercise will be held 12 nautical miles away from San Antonio, Zambales on July 13, PMC Deputy Commandant Brigadier General Jimmy Larida told reporters in an ambush interview after the Masa’s launch in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
“We will see to it that it will not happen,” Larida said when asked about the unidentified intruder on this year’s first sinking exercise during the bilateral war games between the United States and the Philippines known as “Balikatan” back in April.
An aerial interloper last April ventured into the aerial territory also in San Antonio, Zambales while the two countries were working on sinking a mock target — a decommissioned Philippine Navy corvette.
To avoid a repeat, Larida said the Marines are conducting a “very robust” coordination with the local government, the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy.
“The coast guard also committed some vessels to really secure the area to ensure that no accidents will occur,” Larida said.
“The exercise will be very safe to the local populace, fishermen, and of course to the participants,” he added.