In this file photo from 2018, a Navy Multi-Purpose Attack Craft fires a Spike Extended Range Missile during a live fire exercise in Bataan.
The STAR/Krizjohn Rosales, file
Anti-sub helicopter, missile-equipped boat to help secure Western Mindanao waters
Roel Pareño ( - February 20, 2020 - 7:49pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The naval unit headquartered in Zamboanga City is waiting for the deployment of new assets to secure waters in the southern Philippines.

R.Adm. Erick Kagaoan, commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said an anti-submarine AW159 Lynx Wildcat helicopter and a missile-capable Multi-purpose Attack Craft will be added to NFWM's inventory.

Kagaon said NFWM is building a hangar for the AW159, which he said is nearly double the size of the AW109 attack helicopter based in Romulo Espaldon Naval Station.

The Philippine Navy acquired two AW159s last year.

"For now, it can only be deployed here once there is already a hangar. The only challenge is its hangar because it's a big aircraft," he said.

Kagaoan said the Navy is also building a boat house for the MPAC.

"Of course, priority in the deployment of the new assets of the Navy is Western Mindanao and Naval Force West," Kagaoan said.

The NFWM's commander, who has seen a wide range of naval operations in the southern Philippines since he was first assigned to the area in the late 1980s, said the new naval assets will help the Navy patrol the 117,000 square kilometers of water in the southern Philippines.

"Definitely the additional capabilities will help us here in Western Mindanao," he said.

He also stressed the importance of keeping an eye on the waters in the area.

"That’s why we’re strengthening our Maritime Awareness Center by putting in together with the Coast Guard Coast Watch System. Once we have that emplaced, our capability to monitor all vessels here will be strengthened. We could respond more easily. But still, more naval assets are needed for us to enhance our role of protecting the maritime domain," Kagaoan added.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with