The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has inaugurated the Coast Guard Special Operations Force (CGSOF) Boat Support Facility at Sitio Cosac, Barangay Rio-Hondo, Zamboanga City yesterday, 28 October 2021.

The said infrastructure project is the first-ever boat support facility funded through special assistance provided by the Joint United States Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG) Philippines.

The two-storey building is designed to properly store and maintain floating assets, particularly rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs). It also has a wide maintenance and repair area.

Moreover, it comes with comfortable billeting quarters and standard amenities to uphold the well-being of the men and women of the CGSOF. It also houses several rooms where PCG personnel may conduct training sessions and seminars.

PCG Commandant, CG Vice Admiral Leopoldo V Laroya graced the event to personally express his gratitude to PCG officers and partner stakeholders who made the CGSOF Boat Support Facility possible.

“I would like to recognize the efforts of CGSOF Commander, CG Commodore Edgardo T Hernando and the men and women of CG Special Operations Group (CGSOG) in Southwestern Mindanao headed by CG Lieutenant Commander Joseph P Ginete for your collaborative efforts. You proved that we can do more if we help one another,” CG Vice Admiral Laroya said.

“I would also like to thank JUSMAG Philippines for your dedication as maritime leaders. Your passion to serve led to an improved working environment for the CGSOG in Southwestern Mindanao. The Boat Support Facility serves as the Coast Guard’s symbol of modernization and it will greatly impact, not only the CGSOF, but the PCG as a whole,” the Coast Guard Commandant furthered.

On behalf of the Joint Interagency Task Force West, U.S Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Charles E Fosse expressed they were proud to become part of such a productive partnership with the CGSOF.

“The long-standing cooperation between the United States and the Philippines in combating transnational crime is underscored today by the opening of this boat support facility,” Admiral Fosse highlighted.

Also present during the event was Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar who emphasized the importance PCG's presence in the Southern Philippines which remains at the forefront of cross-border challenges.

“I and the people of Zamboanga City fully support the PCG. Thank you for protecting us from the threats of local terrorism, insurgency, piracy, smuggling, and trafficking. Your enthusiasm and eagerness in public service contribute significantly to attaining peace and security in our City. Maraming salamat, PCG,” Mayor Climaco-Salazar stated.

After the ceremony, a sandbar meeting was presided by CG Commodore Hernando with the U.S. counterparts wherein future collaboration and developing similar projects within Visayas and Mindanao areas were discussed.

The said meeting also stressed out the necessity to pursue future engagement in furtherance of capability enhancement through financial and technical aids, as well as personnel development through foreign schoolings.