Philippine Coast Guard to send 6 vessels to ‘Balikatan’ drills

Philippine Coast Guard to send 6 vessels to ‘Balikatan’ drills

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 05:46 AM April 19, 2024

Coast Guard to send 6 vessels to ‘Balikatan’ drills

Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo. FILE PHOTO

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will deploy six vessels, composed of four multi-role response vessels and two larger patrol vessels, when it joins this year’s “Balikatan” (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises with American and other troops in Philippine and international waters starting next week.

Rear Adm. Armand Balilo, PCG spokesperson, said on Thursday that the quasi-private agency would participate in “joint interoperability exercises” with the Philippine Navy and their counterparts from United States, Australia and France from April 22 to May 10.


READ: Another first: PCG to deploy six ships in next week’s US, PH war games


The Navy will be sending the missile frigate BRP Antonio Luna, landing platform BRP Davao del Sur, offshore patrol vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz, FA-50 jet fighters, Super Tucanos support aircraft and Black Hawk helicopters.

The United States, on the other hand, is expected to send fifth generation F-22 “Raptors,” F-35 “Lightning II,” AH 64 “Apache” attack helicopters, AC-130 “Spooky” gunships and at least two naval ships.

About 16,000 troops from the United States and the Philippines are also expected to join the 19-day exercise.

Limitation lifted

Army Col. Michael Logico, the Balikatan executive agent, said the group sail or the multilateral maritime exercise would be conducted beyond 12 nautical miles or 22.22 kilometers off the coast of Palawan, which is considered international waters.

“So every single year in the past administration, we have always been asking permission to go beyond 12 nautical miles because this is a limitation that does not present a realistic training environment. We were finally given that permission this year,” he told a forum on Wednesday.

READ: PCG to join military drills with United States for the first time


Logico also told the Inquirer that Philippine and US troops would simulate an island seizure scenario in Palawan, which faces the West Philippine Sea and is nearest the Philippine-occupied Kalayaan Island Group.

In a separate statement also on Thursday, Col. Xerxes Trinidad, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ public affairs office, said the Philippines has the prerogative “to engage in activities that contribute to our national security and defense posture.”

Trinidad made the remark after China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian warned the government against allowing foreign countries to meddle in the South China Sea issue.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

According to Trinidad, the Balikatan “is a regularly scheduled and long-standing exercise that enhances the ability of the Philippines to work together with our ally and partners.”

TAGS: Balikatan, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.