PCG successfully performs towing exercise with US, Japanese counterparts
By Robina Asido
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) successfully performed a towing exercise with its American and Japanese counterparts off the waters of Manila Bay on Friday.
The towing exercise was participated by at least 94 coast guard personnel including 81 from the PCG, eight from the United States Coast Guard and five from the Japanese Coast Guard.
During the exercise, the participants used the 97-meter BRP Melchora Aquino to tow the 44-meter, BRP Sindangan. Both are PCG multi-role response vessels from Japan.
The towing exercise was conducted off the waters of Manila Bay which is around 4.56 nautical miles from the anchorage area.
The drill that lasted for about an hour started around 8 am when the two Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats maneuvered to assist the establishment of a towing line between the two vessels while the other one secured the vicinity of the exercise area.
BRP Melchora Aquino performed a "90 degree turn of tow" during the exercise using a 220 meter towing line.
After the drill, the personnel from the US, Japan and Philippine Coast Guard conducted a briefing where they analyzed and shared ideas about the towing exercise.
On his part, Lt. Col. Patrick Babag expressed his gratitude to their Japanese and American counterparts for their participation and requested to also invite the incumbent commanding officer of the PCG in the next training.
"We're very thankful to the USCG and Japan Coast Guard. In the past years they have been sacrificing their time and resources to us. That is the thing that we are very lucky and we are thankful for," he said.
"If I may suggest the next time that we will conduct such kind of training for towing exercise, we could involve the target students, the incumbent commanding officers so that they will have the knowledge. We have a lot of commanding officers in the PCG',' he added.
Both Ccommander Hideaki Matsuo, the principal officer of Mobile Cooperation Team of the Japan Coast Guard and Lt. Pryce Matakas of the US Coast Guard were also looking forward to working with PCG in the future.
"In the coming days as well, we are looking forward to working in partnership with our USCG together with the PCG as well," Matsuo said.
" We look forward to working with everyone as well," said Matakas.
Matakas also expressed hope that the exercises will also enhance the partnership between the three coast guards.
"In conducting these exercises with our international partners such as Japan Coast Guard and PCG we're hoping like as I said we're able to operate together and increase those relationship between these three countries and ensuring that both the Philippine, USCG and Japanese CG are able to work together in the region as well as we can," he said.
"Hopefully Japan and the Philippines and even ourselves will be able to go back to our respective coast guards and bring some of those things that we learned during these exercises and implement it within our own services and how we do our normal standard operating procedures," he added. DMS