PH, Aussie sailors in Palawan sea drill play goodwill games

UERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — Philippine Navy (PN) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) sailors challenged each other in friendly games of basketball and volleyball, as part of their 10-day joint maritime security activity (MSA) in Palawan on Tuesday.

Captain Cherryl Tindog, chief of the Public Affairs Office of the Western Command (Wescom), said the friendly face-off was aimed at establishing familiarity and camaraderie among sailors of both countries before they begin their shipboard training on inter-operability cooperation against terrorism, kidnapping, and other lawless activities at sea.

The sailors of the RAN docked their patrol vessels — HMAS Ararat and HMAS Wollongong — at the Puerto Princesa City Pier (PPCP) on Monday led by Lt. Col. Judd Andrew Finger.

They will perform maritime activities side-by-side with BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF 16) and BRP Simeon Castro (PC 374) under the Naval Forces West, Philippine Navy (Navforwest, PN) until July 25.

Tindog added the navy sailors will do the shipboard training within the waters of the southern Palawan town of Balabac and Coron in the north.

“The weather is still bad, but the goal is to do the shipboard training in the waters of Coron in the northern area and Balabac in southern Palawan to be able for both participating sailors to create a safe culture in the areas of common interest,” she said.

She said the continuing conduct of joint activities, such as the MSA with other navies, has helped the country to prevent kidnappings and terrorism in the maritime domain. Celeste Anna Formoso/