Chaff Launch

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Some joint maritime planning between the Philippines and the U.S.


Reported here:
Taylor said the objective of the staff exercise is to address transnational threats, mostly in areas within the Western Mindanao area. The region is under the area of responsibility of the Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command headed by Lt. Gen. Eugenio Cedo.

"We’re at both terrorist and piracy as well as drugs and smuggling, those are among our maritime security issues," Taylor said, adding that the specific concerns they would like to address includes the movement of terrorist leaders by boat.

Other specific threats being looked at are a bomb threat on a Superferry, terrorist threat at the Malampaya oil pipeline, a cargo ship containing illegal drugs, a piracy attack in the Sulu Sea, a Superferry disaster occurrence, and armed drug smuggling fires at Filipino troops.

After the briefing conducted by Taylor, Philippine military chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr said there was a chance that the plans could be put into actual operations.

"Later on, these could be translated into actual plans. The orders could come from any headquarters, including the Western Mindanao Command," he said.

"For example, there is a terrorist leader moving out from Jolo by boat, so what do our troops do? It’s very simple. But if you would start your planning right there and then, you might be too late in your actions," he said.

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