The American Coast Guard Munro continued its ongoing deployment to the Pacific by participating in joint exercises earlier this week in the Western Philippine Sea with the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Deployed from its home base in Southern California, the cutter also traveled to Japan, participated in joint exercises with the Japanese Coast Guard, and a high-visibility Taiwan Strait transit with the US Navy.
The mission is part of the USCG’s mission to build strong ties in the region and support U.S. allies in the Pacific. The exercises are also seen in response to China’s increased efforts in the region.
The Munro participated in bilateral operations with Philippine forces which included four ships and a helicopter. The USCG also deployed its Scan Eagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the exercise. The Munro then visited Subic Bay, the historic home of US forces in the Philippines. In a statement, PCG spokesman Commodore Armando Balilo said the joint force was conducting ship communications and multi-ship maneuvers as well as search and rescue, small craft and response operations. emergency.
US and Philippine forces conducted joint exercises (photo PCG)
“As the maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region become increasingly complex, partnership with our Philippine Coast Guard and Fisheries counterparts is essential to our common interest in a free and open maritime environment.” said Munro’s commanding officer, Captain Blake Novak.
The search and rescue exercise simulated the agencies’ bilateral response to a vessel in distress. During the exercise, the Munro, PCG and BFAR practiced finding the vessel in distress, firefighting techniques on board the vessel, and recovering and treating people in the water. As part of the exercise, PCG members joined USCG members aboard Munro as they launched the Cutter’s small unmanned aircraft system to aid in the search and rescue response.
“The success of the joint maritime exercise between the PCG and the USCG will not only strengthen international partnerships for an immediate response to disasters and disasters, but will also ensure that our personnel can effectively carry out their mandated functions in the fight against against terrorism and other acts of lawlessness in our country. waters, ”said Admiral George V. Ursabia JR., commander of the PCG.
The Munro, a 418-foot national security cutter, left its home port of Alameda, Calif., in July for a multi-month deployment to the western Pacific. Operating under the tactical control of the U.S. 7th Fleet, the Cutter and crew engage in professional exchanges and capacity building exercises with partner nations and patrol and conduct operations in the region. According to the Coast Guard, the current mission builds on its long history of cooperation with forces in the region.
U.S. Coast Guard Munro crew members greet a Philippine Coast Guard vessel (US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Aidan Cooney)
A US Coast Guard lifeguard swimmer retrieves a simulated man overboard during a search and rescue exercise (US Coast Guard photo by Marine Corps Sgt. Kevin G. Rivas)