By Izza Reynoso
PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan – Law enforcers here will conduct joint anti-terrorism drills with counterparts from the United States as part of efforts to enhance preparedness and response capabilities in the face of global threats.
Capt. Victoria Carmen Iquin, Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) spokesperson, on Thursday announced that the joint exercise, dubbed, “Tempest Wind,” is slated on Sept. 9-12.
She said the U.S. will be represented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Aside from the local police, other agencies will also participate in the interoperability training, including the Bureau of Fire Protection and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, among others.
“Tempest Wind’s primary objective is to evaluate the city’s readiness and capacity to respond to crises brought about by terrorist acts and other forms of violence with international implications. It further aims to assess the coordination and effectiveness of various agencies involved in counter-terrorism efforts,” Iquin said.
Some areas in Puerto Princesa will be cordoned off to serve as venues for the exercise.
These include the Tagburos area, particularly the GSMAX Construction Compound, the Maritime Law Enforcement Learning Center of the 2nd Special Operations Unit-Maritime Group in Sitio Magarwak and the Honda Bay area.
Iquin told residents and visitors to anticipate temporary traffic route changes and not be alarmed by controlled explosions and gunfire noises associated with the exercise, noting that these are part of the training scenario.
Local law enforcement personnel will also be deployed, she said, to address any inquiries from the public regarding the ongoing drill.
“The PPCPO is seeking the understanding and cooperation of the community to ensure the successful execution of the exercise,” Iquin said.
She said the “Tempest Wind” anti-terror drill exemplifies the commitment of Puerto Princesa City and its partner agencies to maintaining preparedness in the face of evolving threats and that the collaboration with the U.S. underscores the importance of international cooperation in addressing shared security challenges. (PNA)