By: LIEUTENANT COLONEL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
Thursday, 08 April 2010
The Philippine Navy spearheads the two-day Maritime Senior Leaders Seminar (SLS), 07-08 April 2010 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Manila. The forum gathers senior Navy leaders from Southeast Asian countries, the US, and Philippines for information fusion in varied and complex security issues such as terrorism, smuggling, transnational crimes, and maritime situational awareness.
With this year’s theme “Strengthening Inter-operability in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) through CARAT,” the two-day forum provides a venue among the attendees to collectively discuss, assess, and generate the ways ahead on the perceived issues or problems that may affect operations planning and course of action development in the conduct of HADR through CARAT. The Cooperation Afloat Readiness Training (CARAT) is a military exercise conducted every year between the Philippine and US Navies. The Philippines, along with other ASEAN navies, participate every year in the Southeast Asia Cooperation Training (SEACAT) Exercise. Both involve a series of activities and drills aimed at employing skills and tactics in combating terrorism, transnational crimes, and maritime security threats.
Commo Jose Luis Alano, Commander, Naval Forces Northern Luzon and Commo Miguel Jose Rodriguez, Commander, Fleet-Marine Ready Force shared their experiences in conducting HADR during the Typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng”. Commo Alano discussed disaster response and humanitarian assistance in the rural setting highlighting his Command’s efforts in the areas of Ilocos Norte and Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, and Zambales. Commo Rodriguez meanwhile talked on how Fleet-Marine disaster response teams in the Manila-Cavite area undertook search, rescue, and humanitarian operations in the affected areas of Manila and Rizal Province.
The Maritime SLS is an annual convention of ASEAN Flag Officers participating in CARAT/SEACAT bilateral exercises and serves as a venue for the planning and rationalization of CARAT/SEACAT, and has been co-hosted by the Singaporean Navy since 1995. The Philippine Navy is co-hosting the event with the US Navy this year.
The convention this year will focus on strengthening the navies’ capability to interoperate and jointly conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations during catastrophes. The participants will collectively take a hard look on the lessons learned during the onslaught of disasters and seek closer collaboration for a timely joint humanitarian action.