Col. Antonio Mangoroban Jr., the deputy commander for Marine Operations and commander of the Naval Task Force 42 pins a medal an outgoing WPS personnel on February 13, 2020, following their return on February 13, 2020, in the NFW's Oyster Bay Detachment, Ulugan Bay, Barangay Macarascas. (Photo courtesy of Naval Forces West)

The Naval Forces West (NFW) welcomed back Thursday in Ulugan Bay, Barangay Macarascas its outgoing security personnel in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) after more than 10 days of troop rotation and reprovisioning (RORE) mission.

A statement sent by the NFW said BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS17) was employed for the mission of bringing back soldiers who have completed their assignments in the contested region.

The outgoing WPS personnel were welcomed by Capt. Francisco Tagamolila Jr., the deputy commander for Fleet Operations of the NFW with Col. Antonio Mangoroban Jr., the deputy commander for Marine Operations and the commander of the Naval Task Force 42 which is in charge of the detachments in the area.

“Your long stay in the islands is truly a personal sacrifice on your part that no monetary reward can compensate. Every hour you spend on the islands is an hour lost to your loved ones and families,” Mangoroban was quoted in the statement.

The head of mission for the RORE was Capt. Lorenzo Bolor, commanding officer of offshore patrol vessel BRP Andres Bonifacio. His crew brought back the mission team led by Lt. Gerry Miguel from the Philippine-held islands in the WPS.

The event was highlighted by the awarding of medals for the outgoing security personnel as the Command’s recognition for their selfless duty performed during their stint in the far-flung islands. The NFW mission team was also awarded as an appreciation of their accomplished mission.

The NFW regularly conducts troop RORE in order to sustain the operational mandate of the Command and to uplift the morale of the personnel deployed in the WPS and ensure their humane living conditions in the areas as they play a vital role in defending the country’s western frontier.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.