The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has formally opened the first-ever simultaneous conduct of Maritime Training Activity (MTA) “SAMA-SAMA” and “LUMBAS” on Tuesday.

The MTA “SAMA-SAMA” is the joint exercise between the Philippines and the United States, while “LUMBAS” is between the Philippines and Australia.

“This year’s joint exercise shall undoubtedly reinforce the long-standing alliance and friendship among our respective nations while opening broad avenues to complement our joint regional security efforts and advance our maritime capabilities,” said AFP chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro in his speech during the opening ceremony at Naval Forces Central (NAVFORCEN) in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu which was forwarded to reporters Wednesday.

The naval exercises are usually conducted separately but these were held simultaneously this year.

Representatives from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, British Navy; Royal Brunei Navy, French Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, and the Royal Malaysian Navy were present as observers and will take part in disaster and humanitarian assistance activities.

A total of 742 personnel will join the MTA “SAMA-SAMA” and “LUMBAS” 2022 and this includes the AFP’s Naval Reserve Force.

This year’s naval exercises includes capability-enhancement events to address non-traditional concerns such as territorial defense, natural and man-made disasters, terrorism, and transnational crimes.

It also aimed at developing warfighting interoperability of participating navies on maritime law enforcement operations, on-shore and at-sea sustainment, air operations, anti-submarine warfare, and humanitarian assistance.

Present in Tuesday’s rites were Philippine Navy acting flag-officer-in-command, Rear Admi. Caesar Bernard Valencia; NAVFORCEN commander, Commodore Florante Gaguia; US Navy 7th Fleet commander, Vice Adm. Karl Thomas; Royal Australian chief-of-staff navy headquarters, Commodore Ray Leggatt; Japanese Vice Adm. Tamotsu Matsumoto, Commander of Fleet Air Force; and British Commodore Mike Proudman of the HMAS Spey.

The exercises will be conducted in Clark Airbase, Pampanga, and in different locations in the Visayas Region. (PNA)

About Post Author

Previous articlePBBM signs legislation postponing Barangay and SK elections until October 2023
Next articleWith BSKE moved, ABC president tells barangay officials to focus on pending development programs