Philippine, Indian coast guards to hold joint drill
A patrol vessel from Indian Coast Guard has arrived in the country for a joint exercise with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), an official said.
Capt. Armando Balilo, Philippine Coast Guard spokesman, said Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) “Shaunak” with 117 crew members docked at Pier 15 in South Harbor, Manila on Friday morning.
A passage exercise (PASSEX) will be held between the PCG personnel and their Indian counterparts before they leave the Philippine waters on February 5, he said.
“The exercise is done to practice communication, strengthen interoperability and enhance coordination,” the official said.
Balilo said that it is the first Indian Coast Guard vessel that visits the country this year.
The PCG rendered a company sized arrival honor to welcome the vessel’s Commanding Officer, Deputy Inspector General Bibhuti Ranjan and were received by Captain Genito Basilio, Deputy Chief of Coast Guard Staff for Operations and Commander Angel Viliran, Director of Coast Guard Action Center.
Ranjan then paid a courtesy call on PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino followed by a Coast Guard briefing at the PCG national headquarters.
Balilo said the foreign coast guards are also set to visit some of the PCG facilities, such as the Coast Guard Action Center, National Coast Watch Center, Coast Guard K9 Force in Coast Guard Base Taguig and to one 44-meter multi-role response vessel.
Shaunak is the fourth ship in the series of six 105-meter Samarth-class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV).
Its features include 30mm Close Range Naval gun, integrated bridge system, integrated machinery control system, power management system and high-power external firefighting system.
The ship was designed to carry one twin engine light helicopter and five speed boats including two quick reaction inflatable boats for swift boarding operations, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol. Robina Asido/DMS