USCG CUTTER MIDGETT. Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel welcome the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Midgett in a ceremony at the Port Area, Manila on Tuesday (Aug. 30, 2022). The vessel will join the PCG in a joint maritime search and rescue exercise scheduled this week. US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Loss Carlson and PCG Fleet Commander, CG Rear Admiral Charlie Rances, led the ceremony at the PCG headquarters in Port Area, Manila.(MNS photo)

MANILA, Aug 31 (Mabuhay) — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday welcomed its American counterparts aboard the United States (US) Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Midgett (WMSL-757) a few days before their joint search and rescue (SAR) exercise this week.

US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Loss Carlson and PCG Fleet Commander, CG Rear Admiral Charlie Rances, led the ceremony at the PCG headquarters in Port Area, Manila.

During the event, Rances said the maritime drill will allow PCG and USCG personnel to simulate communication exercises, maneuvering, technical demonstrations, flight operations, small boat operations, medical assistance, and resolution.

“As we want to maximize this opportunity for growth and development of our human resource, we make sure to capitalize on the subject matter exchange with a focus on search and rescue operations,” Rances said.

The PCG will deploy its 83-meter offshore patrol vessel, BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301), BRP Malabrigo (MRRV-4402), BRP Boracay (FPB-2401), and a Coast Guard Aviation Force helicopter during the exercise.

Carlson, meanwhile, hoped that the exercise will “intensify” cooperation between the Philippines and US, specifically on upholding maritime safety and law enforcement.

“As allies, strengthening our ability to work together in critical areas, such as search and rescue and maritime law enforcement, contributes to advancing our shared goals of a more connected, open, and secure Indo-Pacific,” she said.

She highlighted that the activities during the exercise would “provide immediate benefits” for all participants and help shape cooperative efforts between the two countries.

“It will also enable us to advance our training in information exchange with the PCG by supporting consultations and demonstrations on vital capabilities, such as shipboard helicopter operations, reviewing its sea procedures, engineering evolutions, and command and control processes,” she said.

Before the scheduled maritime exercise, both the PCG and the USCG will participate in the “Brigada Eskwela 2022” program at the Jose Rizal Elementary School in Tayuman, Tondo, Manila on Thursday.

Last May, instructors from the USCG and the Japan Coast Guard Mobile Cooperation Team held a vessel boarding operations training with the Philippine Coast Guard to enhance its maritime law enforcement capability.  (MNS)