Tag Archive: maritime surveillance

A littoral observatory station. (Navy photo)

A littoral observatory station. (Navy photo)

The Navy plans to upgrade its base in Cagayan and is set to put up more surveillance stations in Northern Luzon to boost maritime awareness, a ranking official said.

Up for development is Naval Base Camilo Osias, the forward operating base in Cagayan’s northernmost town of Sta. Ana, said Captain Albert Mogol, commander of Naval Task Force 11.

“[What will be developed there is] our capability to respond and to monitor whatever activities are happening in that area to protect our interests in the north,” Mogol said in a recent interview with reporters.

The base, which has its own airstrip, was “primarily” for humanitarian and disaster response activities, he said.

Mogol’s remarks came in the wake of reports that foreign poachers increased activities in waters around Cagayan and neighboring Batanes.

Recently, the Philippine Coast Guard reported that even Taiwan Coast Guard ships have been entering waters near Batanes and had engaged its smaller patrol boats in two standoffs.

Mogol said earlier that the Navy has already set up a “littoral observatory station” in Batanes to help monitor the entry of foreign vessels.

Marine troopers are manning the facility, which shares a building with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration, he said.

More surveillance stations

Mogol said more littoral observatory stations are set to be put up in different areas of Northern Luzon soon.

“We are expanding, ang concentration natin is ‘yung situational awareness, ‘pag sinabi nating situational awareness, may radar, monitoring stations, kasi ‘yun ang kailangan natin dahil mahaba ‘yung coastline natin,” he said.

“We’ll be putting up several observatory stations in areas na hindi natin masyadong nakikita ‘yung nangyayari,” the official said.

In September 2013, then Armed Forces Northern Luzon Command chief Gregorio Pio Catapang announced a proposal to put up littoral observatory stations in Batanes, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, and Aurora.

The Navy expects to set up six more “fixed” littoral observatory stations in different parts of the country this year in addition to the 20 it already has, according to a brochure it published in 2014.

The force will also use the frigates BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz, as well as seven helicopters, as “mobile” observatory stations and link these to the fixed facilities, according to the document. (John Roson)

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A P-3C Orion anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft (photo from US Navy website http://www.navy.mil)

A US maritime surveillance plane will join local security forces in five days of naval exercises in Sarangani Bay starting Monday, the Navy said.

The US Navy’s P3C Orion aircraft will take part in the Coast Watch South Capability Exercise (CWS-CAPEX) from September 3 to 7, Capt. Robert Empedrad of the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) said.

The P3C Orion is a four-engine turboprop, anti-submarine, and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the US Navy and introduced in the 1960s. The aircraft has a tail “stinger” used for the magnetic detection of submarines.

The upcoming drills, the second phase of CWS-CAPEX 2012, will feature a command post exercise at the NFEM headquarters in General Santos City and a field training exercise near the Maasim Point of Sarangani Bay.

“This exercise is focused on simulating the actual operations of the Coast Watch System and its stations in addressing maritime security in Eastern Mindanao,” Empedrad, the director of this year’s drills, said.

The Navy will use one patrol gunboat, an Islander aircraft, two patrol boats, and a special operating unit as “boarding team” in the field training exercises.

Members of the Coast Guard, PNP Maritime Group, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency will also join in boarding the “target” boat.

Other agencies participating in the exercises include the Philippine Ports Authority, Bureau of Immigration, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, Bureau of Customs, and the Department of Justice. (John Roson)

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