New Navy Chief visits Cebu, Three naval choppers ready for deployment
Christell Fatima M. Tudtud (The Freeman) - June 19, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Newly-installed Philippine Navy Chief Vice Admiral Jesus Millan said yesterday they are aware of oil smuggling and other illegal activities taking place in Philippine waters but the lack of equipment is reportedly preventing them from apprehending big-time violators.

Millan, who gave a command briefing on his navy officers at the Naval Forces Center in Naval Base Rafael Ramos in Lapu-Lapu City yesterday, said they are only able to go after smugglers whose operations are relatively not as huge.

However, Millan said the Navy is scheduled to deploy three brand-new helicopters from President Benigno Simeon Aquino III which, according to him, will boost naval presence in a much larger portion of the country's territorial waters.

Aside from the helicopters, the Philippine Navy is also expecting the delivery of strategic sealift vessels to the country which may start by January of next year.

Sealift vessels are used in military logistics for the deployment of military assets, such as weaponry, vehicles, military personnel and supplies. The use of these vessels would help other air units in carrying out their functions.

During yesterday's briefing, Millan also challenged naval officers to always be prepared for calamities, recalling the crucial role that the Navy played in disaster response and relief missions during the onslaught of typhoons in the past.

After the conference, Millan told the media about their projects for the unit, as well as, on maintaining the values and guidelines of the Naval Forces Center.

Millan succeeded Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano who has reached the obligatory retirement age of 56.

It was the first time that the newly-installed Navy head visited Lapu-Lapu City, which was part of a series of stops he is doing in the Visayas since he was appointed last April 30.

Prior to his Cebu visit, he had already made visits to their units in Mindanao and Cavite.

Together with the Navy chief in the command briefing yesterday were Senior Chief Petty Officer Nestor Julagting, command master chief; Captain Ingemar Pernes, acting commander; and Lieutenant Commander Noel Escalona, assistant chief of staff in operations.

Asked about how  the navy officials and members are performing after his appointment as their new leader, he said "they were able to conduct themselves professionally."

Millan was the commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao and also was the former chief of naval staff and commander of the Naval Reserve Command.

He was a recipient of different military awards, such as the Distinguished Navy Cross, Bronze Cross Medals and Distinguished Service Star. He graduated from the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1982. —  with Bong Soriano  of  BANAT News (FREEMAN)

BONG SORIANO BRONZE CROSS MEDALS AND DISTINGUISHED SERVICE STAR CAPTAIN INGEMAR PERNES DISTINGUISHED NAVY CROSS LAPU-LAPU CITY LIEUTENANT COMMANDER NOEL ESCALONA MILLAN MINDANAO AND CAVITE NAVAL NAVAL FORCES CENTER NAVY
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