PCG: A number of boarding procedures were conducted by the various participating Coast Guards and Navies from the US and Southeast Asia during the last day of the 3-day Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO)/Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) workshop aboard PCG vessels at PCG Headquarters in Manila.

The participants were grouped into five composed of representatives from each country. They were given several boarding scenarios which are common threats experienced amongst waters within Southeast Asia such as piracy, illegal fishing, smuggling, illegal drug and human trafficking.

The activities were done in preparation for the last phase of SEACAT on August 28 to September 01 to be held at vicinity waters off Subic, Zambales.The sea phase will involve practical exercises onboard a vessel where the participants will be affordedan opportunity to exercise the skills, tactics, techniques and procedures discussed during the workshop. 

The workshop was concluded with a closing ceremony yesterday which was attended by Commodore Leopoldo V Laroya PCG, the Commander of PCG Maritime Security and Law Enforcement Command and Lieutenant Commander Jeremy R Obenchain USCG, Maritime Advisor of the Defense Threat Reduction Office-Philippines, US Embassy-Manila.

LCDR OBENCHAIN congratulated all the participants and the instructors from the US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment Team headed by Lieutenant Lucy Love USCG for facilitating discusssions, providing realistic scenarios and fostering a collaborative and cooperative environment.

Furthermore, COMMO LAROYA encouraged the participants to apply all the knowledge and best practices that they have gained in the exercise when they return to their respective countries. He also assured that the PCG will always be a credible and reliable partner in addressing our common concerns the maritime security challenges in the Southeast Asian region.