The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) together with Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) hold a trilateral maritime exercise in Mariveles, Bataan from June 1-7. The trilateral maritime exercise is the first of its kind between the three countries’ coast guards.
The PCG held an arrival ceremony at Pier 15 in South Harbor, Manila, on 1 June 2023 to welcome contingents from the JCG and the USCG. In attendance were Charges d’affaires ad interim MATSUDA Kenichi, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Heather Variava, PCG Vice Admiral Rolando Punzalan Jr., Transportation Undersecretary for the Maritime Sector Elmer Francisco Sarmiento, and Foreign Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Raphael Hermoso.
The JCG will deploy Akitsushima (PLH-32) for the exercise. The PCG will send BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702), BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301), BRP Boracay (FPB-2401), and one 44-meter multi-role response vessel (MRRV), while the USCG will send USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752).
Two of the participating vessels from the PCG, the BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702) and the 44-meter MRRV, were acquired through the JICA-DOTr Maritime Safety Improvement Project.
The trilateral maritime exercise aims to strengthen interoperability between the JCG, PCG, and USCG through communication exercises, maneuvering drills, photo exercises, maritime law enforcement training, search and rescue (SAR), and passing exercises.
Embassy of Japan Charges d’affaires (CDA) ad interim MATSUDA Kenichi affirmed Japan’s support for the trilateral maritime exercise, saying “the shared history between Japan, the Philippines and the United States realizes a free and open international order in the Indo-Pacific region.”
“Today, Japan has taken another step forward towards reinforcing maritime domain awareness and maritime law enforcement as affirmed in the Japan-Philippines Joint Statement. We will concretely advance cooperation with the Philippines to bolster maritime security capabilities and freedom of navigation,” said CDA Matsuda.