CANJULAO, Lapu Lapu City (DWDD) – The Philippine Navy (PN) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) conducted a combined Maritime Training Activity codenamed “Exercise LUMBAS 2018” from 18 to 23 MAY 2018 at Naval Forces Central (NFC) Area of Responsibility (AOR).
This training exercise has been conducted annually in the Philippines which started sometime in 1998. In previous years, EX LUMBAS was combined maritime training between the PN and the RAN which focuses on Maritime Security Operations and Maritime Interdiction Operation (MSO/ MIO). It is conducted in the form of Table Top Exercise (TTX) on odd numbered years with Field Training Exercise (FTX) on even numbered years. However, during the Navy to Navy Strategy talks held last 09 March 2017, Exercise LUMBAS will become an annual Naval Warfare Exercise focusing on the development of PN warfighting capabilities while Multi Agency TTX will shift from LUMBAS to Defense Cooperation Program (DCP) which will fall under the purview of the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC). Exercise LUMBAS will focus on addressing transnational crimes, piracy, counter-terrorism, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and anti-narcotics to align PN efforts with the current government policies.
For this year, the Field Training Exercise of this event was executed in two (2) segments. Segment 1 was the Harbor Phase which was conducted at facilities of NBRR and ships respective lecture/ training rooms. Opening ceremony, Subject Matter Expertise Exchanges (SMEEs), courtesy call, ships tour and FTX Opns Conferences and other related pre-sail briefing was held on 18-19 May 2018 prior the Sea Phase. Segment 2 was the Sea Phase which was conducted at seawaters of Negros Island on 20-22 May 2018 and focused on capability enhancement for Naval Operations and Maritime Security Operations, hence building Common Operating Picture (COP), information sharing and territorial defense related training. This phase was participated by one (1) vessel from RAN (HMAS ANZAC, FFH150), one (1) vessel form PN (BRP RAMON ALCARAZ, FF16) and two (2) aircrafts from PAF (FA50). Personnel from both Navy ships also conducted simultaneous the Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) exercise in their respective counterparts navy ship. One (1) Naval helicopter conducted deck landing proficiency aboard FF16 and FFH150 also during the FTX.
The culminating activities of the exercise include, friendly games between PN and RAN, and closing ceremony held at NBRR complex last 23 May 2018. NPAO / MCAG