Friday, April 8, 2016

Navy restructures Luzon forces amid sea dispute

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Apr 8): Navy restructures Luzon forces amid sea dispute

The Philippine Navy has reactivated the division of its operational commands in Luzon, almost a year after merging its field units, in its aim to strengthen the country’s maritime domain.

“We reactivated the two naval operations command—the Naval Forces Northern Luzon and the Naval Forces West. It used to be the Naval Forces Northwest,” acting Navy spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Marineth Domingo told media on Friday.

Last year, the Navy merged the Naval Forces Northern Luzon in La Union and the Naval Forces West in Palawan under the Naval Forces Northwest to combine their facilities and equipment amid China’s aggressiveness in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

Domingo explained that the units were restored to their previous state for them to have focus on naval operations. While the merged unit had the same responsibilities, it created confusion in communication lines, prompting the leadership to reconstitute it back to its past form.

Navy chief Vice Adm. Caesar Taccad led the ceremonies for the reinstallation of the two units on Friday.

“It does not diminish the two operational commands. It does not diminish the capability and capacity nung two operational commands natin, it’s just that they were given the distinction now, mas naging distinct lang sila, para na rin in support sa ating higher headquarters,” she said.

The Naval Forces West is under the command of the Commodore Danilo Rodelas while the Naval Forces Northern Luzon is commanded by Capt. Albert Mogol in an acting capacity.

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