Philippines holds sea training exercises with US, Japan coast guards

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THE PHILIPPINES held its third joint sea training with the US and Japan this year to boost operational and rescue capabilities of its coast guard, according to the Japan Embassy.

Tokyo provided technical guidance in towing and firefighting techniques using the Philippines’ 97-meter patrol vessel BRP Melchora Aquino and a 44-meter vessel Japan provided, it said in a statement on Monday.

The US Coast Guard also taught the Philippine Coast Guard how to operate small boats during the training held on Oct. 23 to Nov. 25, it said.

“The Japan Coast Guard, together with the US Coast Guard, anticipates further opportunities to work with the Philippine Coast Guard on capacity-building support in the near future,” the embassy said.

The first training, which focused on enhancing the Philippine Coast Guard’s arresting techniques, was held in April. The Japanese Coast Guard taught 62 trainees and 14 instructors, as well as the crew of the BRP Melchora Aquino. US coast guards conducted the boarding officer instructor development course.

During the second training held in June tactical instruction was prioritized.

Philippine Coast Guard personnel are expected to lead future courses, which was why the first half of the training focused on instructor development for 14 candidates and prepared them to plan, organize and present scenarios and tactics to a student audience.

During the second training, tactical instruction was provided for self-defense and detaining techniques. 

The Japanese and US coast guards, as maritime law enforcement agencies, have been closely working together since Japan’s coast guard was established in 1948.

Both the US and Japan coast guards have supported capacity building of coast guard agencies in the Indo-Pacific region. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan