Maritime Security

A Rich Bank Without A Security Fence

Dear Editor, May I share with you my op-ed that appeared in BusinessWorld. It is about building credible deterrence to bring up our country to a state of readiness like all other self-respecting states that zealously protect their people and resources from a world fraught with risks and threats. —Rafael Alunan III The Philippines is like an extremely rich bank…

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Perspectives on Naval Cooperation in Southeast Asia

The Southeast Asian region is situated in a unique strategic environment that is shaped by the Pacific maritime domain. It is home to maritime nations sitting astride vital sea lines of communication and trade in the Asia-Pacific, with vast water resources and minerals, and oil and gas reserves. Shipping traffic through Southeast Asia is several times greater than the traffic…


World’s Biggest Ever Maritime Drone Contract

Martek Marine (Martek) has been awarded a ground breaking 2-year Remotely Piloted Aircraft Services (RPAS) contract from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The services offered will fulfil part of the world’s largest ever maritime drone contract. Part of a five-year EMSA strategy of improving coast guard monitoring and surveillance of maritime activity valued at EUR 67 million, the service…


Naval Bases for New Sea Frontier

Five years ago, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf adopted in its entirety the Philippine submission to extend the country’s seabed boundary in the Philippine Sea with the discovery of the Benham Rise Region. The UN concurrence added 135,506 square kilometers, about 45% of the nation’s land area, to Philippine seabed area and the waters…


Keep Fort San Antonio Abad Afloat

IS THIS HOW IT ALL STARTED? IS THIS HOW IT WILL END? The latest Base Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) website advertises the sale of Fort Abad: A BIT OF HISTORY.  More than five centuries ago, in 1584, the Spanish Armada established  “Fuerte de San Antonio Abad” in Manila way ahead of Fort San Felipe (1609) in Cavite, to protect the…


Indonesian Submarine Program: Acquisitions and Upgrades

The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) is currently anticipating the delivery of three new Type 209/1400-class submarines from the South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). The service has also indicated aspirations to operate a fleet of either 10 or 12 underwater fighting platforms beyond 2024. What are the Indonesian government’s requirements for these…


P. Du30’s Top Priority – Poverty, Terrorism Or Drugs?

PART I As clearly proven during the closing days of 2016 and early 2017, terrorism and violence around the world dominated the headlines. Not just the beleaguered Middle East, but also Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, France, Belgium, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines and even the U.S. were not spared wanton killings because of man’s inhumanity to fellowman. According…


In Pursuit of an Independent Foreign Policy?

In October 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte announced his plans to establish closer ties with Russia and China. Weeks later, he sent Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to Moscow for exploratory talks on defense matters.  Accordingly, the Russians offered defense equipment including a submarine and drones.  In early January 2017, two Russian Federation Navy (RFN) ships of Russia Federation’s Pacific Fleet made…


Experts’ Dialogue on Maritime Security Governance 2016

The Philippine Navy (PN), through the Office of Naval Strategic Studies, in partnership with the Foreign Service Institute and the National Coast Watch Council Secretariat, organized the first Experts’ Dialogue on Maritime Security Governance to discuss the different approaches and mechanisms on how to effectively manage the nation’s maritime domain. Drawing from the experiences and best practices of Indonesia and…


Revisiting the Chain of Command Concept

The concept of “chain of command,” along with other leadership and management principles that were not formally published until the 20th century, has been practiced since the ancient times by military and other organizations. For one, Alexander The Great conquered territories far beyond his domain by using an effective command chain to communicate and control his subordinate commanders. For another,…


Ice-Breaking During Global Warming

Recently, in his good luck year (meaning age 88), FVR was unexpectedly designated by President Rodrigo Du30 as “Special Envoy” with the mission to “break the ice” between China and the Philippines – whose traditionally friendly relations had turned chilly, if not cold, with the 12 July 2016 ruling (award) by the U.N. Permanent Court of Arbitration about issues in…


Enhancing Operational Interoperability 10th ASEAN Navy Chiefs’ Meeting Viewpoint Exchange

Southeast Asia straddles several of the most important maritime passageways in the world today. These arteries of global trade, transportation, and commerce are vital not only for regional but also global peace, security, and stability. Also, the region’s booming economies make it a bright spot for international investment. The waters in and around Southeast Asia are believed to hold substantial…


PCG Gears Up with its First Brand New MRRV from Japan

The popular slogan of President Duterte –“Change is Coming” — enthralled the Filipino people, as the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) rode that wave of change. Indeed, change had come and the PCG welcomed this wave that would break the long standing shortage in PCG maritime assets. The PCG started to change within as modernization of its fleet had began with…


No Picture

Strategy: National Security Scenarios for Post-Election Period

In the 112th Maritime Forum, I responded positively to the proposal of a former Undersecretary of National Defense, Atty. Fernando Campos to discuss Strategy. He suggested discussing “National Security Scenarios for the post-election period.” Campos was also a former Governor of Cavite and a former Congressman of Cavite. He sent me his discussion paper, THE BIRTH OF A NEW PHILIPPINES:…


Joint Development on the West Philippine Sea

During the China-ASEAN Dialogue between Senior Defense Scholars held at Beijing, China on 11 – 15 March 2008, I presented a paper on Confidence-Building Measures Towards Greater Regional Stability. Military modernization in China was being perceived in a way that caused concern to some countries which fear a repeat of the arms race during the Cold War on one hand…


Philippine Defense Procurement: Issues and Prospects

The defense of the Philippines from both internal and external threats is the principal business of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). To enable the AFP to fully perform its mandate, it should possess affordable war fighting capabilities that can also be used for operations other than war (OOTW) like counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, search and rescue,…


Naval Multi-Role Auxiliary Vessels by Damen

A new series of Damen vessels offers flexibility and reduced total cost of ownership by means of modular mission modules with proven technologies. On 8 June 2016, during the Oceanographic Survey Vessel Conference in London, Damen Shipyards Group announced the introduction of a new range of Multi-Role Auxiliary Vessels (MRAV). The common theme running through the series was the provision…