PH, Japan navies conduct 'relation exercise' drills

By Priam Nepomuceno

September 20, 2018, 1:21 pm

MANILA -- Highlighting the strong friendship between the Filipino and Japanese people, the Philippine Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) conducted a so-called "Relation Exercise" (RELEX) at Clark Air Base, Pampanga last Sept. 17 to 18.

Navy spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata said Thursday the PN's Naval Air Group and JMSDF Air Patrol Squadron participated in the exercise which aims to strengthen the friendship and bond of the two allied navies as well as foster better working relationship in the field of maritime security cooperation between Manila and Tokyo.

The pilots and crew of PN Beechcraft King Air C-90 Aircraft with tail number NV-392, led by pilot-in-command, Lt. Cmdr. Jerry T. Catbagan, headed the Navy delegation for the exercise.

The JMSDF was represented by the P3-C "Orion" with a crew of 19, headed by JMSDF Air Patrol Squadron 2 executive officer, Capt. Koichi Matsuura.

Zata said both PN and JMSDF delegates both rendered a courtesy call to Lt. Col. Sherwin G. Agag, Commander, 600th Airbase Group, Clark Air Base, Pampanga prior to the exercise on Monday.

Both navies were given an opportunity to showcase their respective aircraft. On board the P3-C, the PN delegates were given a short presentation of JMSDF’s procedure on surface target identification.

As part of the lecture, a demonstration on the procedure of taking photos during their flight missions was highlighted by P3-C’s tactical coordinator.

Likewise, the C-90 pilots gladly invited the pilots of P3-C to board their aircraft to show the upgrades done with the plane, particularly with the avionics equipment.

"The success of the activity reflects the progressive and lasting strategic partnership between the Philippines’ and Japan’s Defense Departments which is geared towards a stronger cooperation in addressing common maritime security challenges," Zata added. (PNA)