Philippine Navy holds antiterror exercises | Inquirer News
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Philippine Navy holds antiterror exercises

/ 04:48 AM October 27, 2021

WAR GAMES Rear Adm. Toribio Adaci Jr., commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, shows Maj. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command, photos of the armaments to be used in the Pagsisikap Exercise 2021. —JULIE S. ALIPALA

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — Almost a thousand troops from the Philippine Navy are participating in a weeklong military exercise in various sites in the terrorism-plagued provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

Maj. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., chief of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said the exercise, which kicked off with indoor simulations on Monday, was meant “to showcase our newly acquired armaments and equipment and to evaluate the overall preparedness of our troops in combating terrorism.”

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Rosario added that the exercise had been put on hold since last year due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“We have adjusted to the new normal, so we are holding it in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.”

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Rear Adm. Toribio Adaci Jr., commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said all the participating troops had undergone antigen tests to ensure they would not be carriers of the virus.

The weeklong training is dubbed Exercise Pagsisikap 2021, which will mainly involve amphibious landings whereby troops are released from the sea and negotiate their way into an island. The troops will be trained to use the latest amphibious assault vehicle.

The exercise will also involve the firing of 34-kilogram missiles from a 10-kilometer distance using the super fast multipurpose attack craft (MPAC) to check target acquisition and missile engagement, test troops’ capability to conduct day and night operations, advance image processing for superior tracking and indoor simulations.

Rosario said there was a need for troops to familiarize themselves with the new armaments especially now that Philippine Navy vessels are equipped with missiles.

“With [the] latest war materiel and equipment, we need to have a feel in using these armaments, constant training to refresh our expertise [and] familiarize the use of it and to test doctrines and techniques to determine if they are still relevant nowadays,” Adaci said.

Navy Capt. Alan Javier, deputy commander for fleet operations and in charge of the overall exercise, said all the participating troops were deployed to the areas on Oct. 24.

Nine ships including an MPAC with missiles, a helicopter, and marines’ amphibious attack vessels were also stationed in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi for the exercise.

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