Members of the Philippine Navy (PN) regular and reserve forces concluded the Exercise Pagsasama 2020 on November 27, in a simple ceremony at the Naval Reserve Command (NRC) headquarters in Intramuros, Manila led by NRC Commander, Marine Major Gen. Ariel Caculitan and commander of Fleet Marine Ready Force (FMRF), Brigadier Gen. Armel Tolato, and attended virtually by limited participants through Zoom application. PN flag officer in command, Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, was also able to convey his congratulatory message.
Pagsasama 2020 kicked off Monday, November 23, with various lectures and rehearsals for amphibious operations, search and rescue, maritime surveillance, introduction to surface warfare, and information/intelligence collection participated by fleet-marines reserve components and members of Marine Battalion Landing Team 9 while virtual lectures on sea trials were attended by PN Auxiliary Reserve Units (PNARU). Also, the Reservist NTG commander and his staff conducted Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) by analyzing the Exercise Scenario of “Crisis within a Crisis” to come up with the best course of action to execute Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) and Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO) in the vicinity of Ternate Cavite.
Several activities at sea were also conducted in the duration of the exercise, such as Maneuvering Exercise (MANNEX), Publication Exercise (PUBEX), and Anti-Submarine Maneuvering Exercise (SCREENEX). Marine reservists also underwent Mass Casualty Management Training while reservists from Naval Combat Engineering Brigade (Seabees) honed their skills in Collapse Structure Search and Rescue (CSSR) with the PMC medical team at Ternate, Cavite.
Other exercises such as Gunnery Exercise (GUNNEX) and Photo Exercise (PHOTOEX) were continuously performed by all participating vessels at vicinity, Ternate, Cavite, followed by Over the Beach (OTB) clearing operations performed by Naval Special Operations Command (NAVSOCOM) and Seabees prior to the conduct of simulated Amphibious Operations.
In support of Exercise Pagsasama 2020, an HADR operation was jointly conducted by FMRF and the Civil-Military Operations Unit- National Capital Region at Barangay Sapang Uno, Ternate, Cavite. Highlights of the program included an advocacy lecture on “Managing Anxiety during the Pandemic” by celebrity reservist and registered nurse Petty Officer Third Class (PO3) Enrico Raphael “Rocco” Nacino, and distribution of relief packs donated by PN partner-stakeholder Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc (TYFI). A total of one thousand and three (1,003) food packs containing rice, canned food, and noodles were distributed to beneficiary-families and community frontliners.
Meanwhile, the FMRF commander and the Officer Conducting the Exercise (OCE) graced the activity with Marine Col. Robert Feliciano, co-exercise Director from Marine Component and Lt. Col. Sonny Wang, on November 26, with celebrity reservist Maj. Jose Sixto Raphael “Dingdong” Dantes who explained the Exercise PAGSASAMA 2020 to the locals. Master Sergeant Voltaire Guadalupe, a Health Manager by profession, gave his lecture about Health and Sanitation in Emergency Situation.
Overall, said exercise was able to achieve the objective of integrating the PN reservists to the regular force in times of disasters and utilizing them and the PNARU in Maritime Security Operations and Ground Security Operations. It further trained and educated the Naval Reservists and Affiliated Reserve Units in support to Amphibious Operations, evaluated and assessed the capability of PN Reserve Force and PNARU on their interoperability with the PN regular force in HADR operations; and trained the Marine Reservists in support to Marine Operations in Civic Action Program activities.
All participants underwent RT-PCR tests prior to the exercise. All activities and movements were executed following minimum health, safety, and sanitation protocols, capacity restrictions, physical distancing in order to ensure the safety of all the participants. — Fleet-Marine Ready Force (FMRF)