PCG joins coastal defense exercise

PCG joins coastal defense exercise

Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.

THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) took part in the Balikatan joint military exercises for the first time Monday, with two ships joining live-fire coastal defense training in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

The annual Balikatan exercise involving 16,000 soldiers from the United States and the Philippines began April 22 and wraps up Friday, May 10.

The coastal defense training is aimed at honing the skills of the US and Filipino forces in deterring an invading force.

Philippine Coast Guard provides utmost support to the “COUNTER-LANDING LIVE- FIRE” as part of BALIKATAN EXERCISE 2024, through Coast Guard District Northwestern Luzon led by CG CAPT IVAN E ROLDAN at Brgy. Metro Lapaz, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Photo from Coast Guard District North Western Luzon FB page

PCG ships BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702) and BRP Malapascua (MRRV-4403) took part in the counter-landing live fire exercise held at the village of Metro Lapaz.

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Coast Guard ships patrolled the area to ensure that fishing boats and vessels would not enter the exercise zone to prevent untoward incidents.

The US task force commander said the maritime exercise was not aimed at any particular country.

However, it was pointed out that this particular exercise was intended to help the Philippines defend its territory in the West Philippine Sea.

During the exercise, a pair of M-777 howitzers were placed in the dunes by soldiers from the Hawaii-based 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment.

The howitzers took turns blasting 155 mm rounds at a fictional invasion force about four miles offshore.

As the “fictional” enemy got closer, Filipino troops fired 105 mm artillery. Then members of the Hawaii-based 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment shot.50 caliber machine guns and Javelin anti-tank missiles at floating targets while a drone hovered overhead.

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