THE PHILIPPINES and the United States recently concluded a weeklong exchange of skills and intelligence to enhance counter measures against maritime threats, according to a statement released by the US Embassy on Monday.
“This exchange equipped NCWC (National Coast Watch Center) analysts with the necessary tools to independently conduct Counter Threat Network analytical activities that strengthen the Philippines’ efforts to protect its territorial waters and maritime rights,” Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Partner Engagement Coordinator Dawood Luqman said.
“It also aimed to assist the NCWC in acquiring relevant knowledge and skills to support joint maritime domain and counter threat network operations,” the embassy said.
The exchange, which ended on July 25, included three days of analytical discussion and two days of tabletop exercise that allowed DTRA’s experts to expand their knowledge of specific regional maritime security challenges through interactions with the Philippine Coast Guard and NCWC.
The DTRA, based in Virginia, has long been partners with the Philippine government. It was responsible for constructing the NCWC facility in Manila, Regional Coordination Centers in Cebu and Palawan, among others.
Since 2012, the DTRA has donated more than $64 million or P3.5 billion to the NCWC for the acquisition of advanced equipment and training of personnel. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan