RP, US naval anti-terror exercise ends
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The US-led multilateral naval anti-terrorism exercise dubbed as Southeast Asian Cooperation Against Terrorism (SEACAT) ended Monday in the Sulu seas after a week of actual sea training, according to a navy information officer.
The SEACAT ’07 kicked off in Singapore last Aug. 14 to enhance intelligence sharing among the countries involved, according to Ensign Rommel Rodriguez, public affairs officer of the SEACAT ’07.
The eight countries involved in the training were the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States.
Rodriguez said the multilateral exercise was aimed at intensifying cooperation among the participating nations through information sharing to track maritime threats, particularly terrorist movements.
During the training exercise all the liaison officers of the participating countries boarded the USS Harpers Ferry acting as the command and control ship.
Part of the training was maritime interdiction as a result of the information sharing, Rodriguez said.
“Our personnel were able to better hone their capability especially in the conduct of the visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operation. The US learned that the culture of probable suspects has to be considered to be effective in the campaign,” Rodriguez said. – Roel Pareño