Thursday 12 October 2017

PHL signs joint air patrol with Malaysia and Indonesia

Last June a historic agreement was signed between the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The Trilateral Maritime Patrol agreement was agreed for border areas in Indonesia, Sabah area and the Philippines, which aims to address the porous borders and ensure organized patrols to prevent abductions at high sea.

“These abductions at sea are put to and end and the movement of potential armed elements, any jihadist organizations or any armed organizations will not go through all these porous borders because of that heightened security,” Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). *

The Philippine Air Force Cessna-208B Grand Caravan Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) that was acquired brand new from the United States last  July 2017 (photo credit to owner)

Yesterday, another historical event that is complementing the Trilateral Maritime Patrol was sealed. The Philippines has signed a Trilateral Air Patrol (TAP) agreement with Indonesia and Malaysia to their respective armed forces to work together in guarding and patrolling maritime areas, especially those in the south where $40 billion in trade passes through annually.

This will complement the three nations' "Trilateral Maritime Patrol," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson Major Gen. Restituto Padilla said.

"The TAP of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines that complements the earlier arrangement for the conduct of the 'Trilateral Maritime Patrol' for the common area of maritime interest among these countries .

He added that TAP, which is primarily focused on fighting terrorism in the common maritime areas of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, would allow its air assets to do regular patrols.

 “Terrorists have and are now using these areas as transshipment points and avenues of movement. (Threats of terrorism) would be better addressed by common efforts from like minded countries,” Padilla said. 

The "Trilateral Maritime Patrol" was signed by the three nations last April. Defense ministers from the participating nations along with their ranking military officials attended the launching activity.

Padilla said Brunei and Singapore also sent their representatives as observers.

He added the TAP agreement has designated the area of maritime interest that will be the subject of both maritime and air patrols. It will be carried out from designated staging points. *

Staging point for Indonesia is Tarakan; Bongao for the Philippines; and Tawau for Malaysia.

"Each country will take turns leading the mission thru a designated mission commander using host country air assets. Air patrol will be monitored from a maritime coordinating center. A host country will use their air assets with other nations patrol teams aboard," the AFP spokesperson said.


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