The Philippine and Australian navies will kick-off Monday, October 22, joint training exercises that aim to enhance both countries' capability on anti-terrorism, human and drug trafficking, and disaster response.
Over 300 navy personnel from the Philippines and Australia will participate in the 12th annual Maritime Training Activity (MTA) between the Philippine Navy and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) dubbed "Lumbas 2012."
The five-day exercises will be held aboard HMAS Sydney in South Harbor Manila and will be participated by other agencies such as the Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Group-Philippine National Police, Bureau of Immigration, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
In a training directive, Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said that the training activity will also "enhance competency of the navies in naval and maritime security operations through subject matter expert exchange activities.”
The exercises will include realistic, scenario-based exercises focused on anti-terrorism, illegal human and drug trafficking, and humanitarian assistance/disaster response involving the Philippine Navy and the Australian Border Protection Command
The Philippine Navy also aims to enhance its competencies in maritime security, surveillance, and interdiction with the help of the Australian BPC.
The Philippine Navy will send the Barko ng Republika ng Pilipnas (BRP) Mariano Alvarez (PS38), the BRP Beinvenido Salping (PG112), and a component from the Naval Special Operations Group (Navsog) to participate in the exercise.
The exercises are also aimed to enhance and develop camaraderie among participating personnel through shiprider program and social interaction.