PH, U.S. navies complete joint Sulu Sea patrol

July 1, 2017 - 10:32 AM
Sailors assigned to littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) ride a rigid-hull inflatable boat to the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF 16) for personnel transfer during a coordinated counter-piracy operation in the Sulu Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven Leigh Ellis)

(UPDATED 8:00 p.m.) The Philippines and U.S. navies completed a coordinated patrol in the Sulu Sea on Saturday, the U.S. embassy in Manila said.

The patrol, involving the Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) and the Del Pilar Class Frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF 16) was conducted at the invitation of the Philippine government, the embassy said.

USS Coronado inset BRP Alcaraz gun station
File photograph of the Independence class littoral combat ship USS Coronado. Inset shows the Mk 38 Mod 2 gun station mounted on the BRP Alcaraz.

During the operation, crews from both vessels “worked closely together to detect and deter threats to maritime security,” it added.

“These patrols enhance regional peace and stability,” the statement quoted Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson, commander of the US Navy’s  Task Force 73, as saying.  “Our at-sea operations with the Philippine Navy demonstrate our commitment to the alliance and deter piracy and illegal activities.”

Filipino sailors went aboard the USS Coronado to coordinate communications and movements between the two ships and exchange best practices with their U.S. counterparts in visit, board, search, and seizure techniques and information sharing.

Before the coordinated patrol, the USS Coronado participated in the training exercise “Sama Sama” with the Philippine Navy off Cebu.