The Joint Task Force West (JTFW) and Joint Task Force Malampaya (JTFM) conducted the 4th edition of Gas-Oil Platform Takedown (GOPLAT) exercise in El Nido town last December 4-5.

The exercise was conducted to enhance its operational readiness and preparedness in securing the Malampaya Natural Gas to Power Project platform located off the coast of El Nido.

Naval Forces West (NAVFORWEST) Deputy Commander for Operations Capt. Brendo J. Casaclang said during the opening ceremony that the units involved in the exercise are being trained to hone their capabilities in the event of emergencies and acts of terrorism that might occur in MNGPP.

JTFM Deputy Commander Capt. Arnel F. Teodoro on the other hand said the exercise aims to enhance the command and control, collaboration, and readiness of the AFP units and other stakeholders during exigencies in the platform.

Malampaya project is one of the country’s economic crown jewels that provides more or less 10-hour electricity to mainland Luzon, particularly in the National Capital Region and it is imperative that a coordinated and unified protection of the project is guarantied and available on time,” Teodoro said.

Trainings included in the exercise are vertical insertion, non-compliat visit, board, search, and seizure, participated in by special operations teams, multi-purpose attack crafts (BA483 and BA484), unmanned aerial systems, Philippine Navy Augusta Westland 109 helicotper, and Philippine Air Force Sokol helicopter.

This year’s GOPLAT exercise iteration also highlighted the use of high angle sniping aboard the AW109 helicopter and the use of the UAS for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

JTFM commander Brig. Gen. Robert Velasco meanwhile said that the trainings made the navy the personnel involved as the only unit that has the capability “to recover and takedown the MNGPP in case of emergencies, attacks and intrusions.”

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