The U.S. and Philippine navies completed a coordinated patrol in the Sulu Sea at the invitation of the Government of the Philippines, July 1.
During the operation, crews from the Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) and the Del Pilar-class Frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF 16) worked together to detect and deter maritime security threats.
"These patrols enhance regional peace and stability," said Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, commander, Task Force 73. "Our at-sea operations with the Philippine navy demonstrate our commitment to the alliance and deter piracy and illegal activities."
The area continues to be a piracy hotspot, with the ReCAAP ISC continuing to reiterate the need for collective efforts and shared responsibility in addressing the situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.
As part of the operation, a group of Philippine navy sailors embarked on board Coronado to coordinate communications and movements between the two ships. The Philippine sailors also exchanged best practices with their U.S. counterparts in visit, board, search and seizure techniques and information sharing.
The U.S. Navy said in a statement that the patrol strengthened maritime security cooperation between the two navies and enhanced both navies' ability to respond to piracy and transnational criminal activity at sea, demonstrating U.S. commitment to the security of the Philippines and enduring U.S. interest in promoting stability and prosperity in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Just prior to the coordinated patrol, Coronado completed the Maritime Training Activity Sama Sama with the Philippine navy in the vicinity of Cebu. The exercise provided opportunities to sharpen tactical skills in maritime security operations that were employed during the coordinated patrol.
The U.S. and the Philippines continue to work together on a number of initiatives and conduct regular military exchanges through routine participation in bilateral and multilateral exercises such as Balikatan, the Maritime Training Activity Sama Sama, Southeast Asian Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), the Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC), the Asian Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM-Plus), and other bilateral subject matter expert exchanges.