To further strengthen its capability to secure the country’s maritime domain, the Philippine Navy (PN) will be putting up more littoral observatory stations (LOS) as it continue to develop existing naval bases in the north.
In an interview in Poro Point, La Union, reported by Manila Bulletin and various sources, Captain Albert Mogol, commander, Naval Task Force 11, identified the Naval Base Camilo Osias in Sta. Ana, Cagayan as among those being developed.
“We have an airstrip there, we have our naval assets there,” said Mogol, adding that the navy is developing the capability of the said forward operating base “to respond and to monitor activities within the area to protect our interest in the north.”
The airstrip, the official said, can also be used to address the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) in times of calamities.
Asked about the Naval Station Ernesto Ogbinar in Poro Point, Mogol said “it’s developed already” but did not give further details.
“Actually we are expanding, our concentration is on situational awareness. So what does it mean when we say situational awareness? …Radar and monitoring stations because that’s what we need because of the length of our coastline,” said Mogol. The Philippines has the 5th longest coastline in the world, measuring 36,289 km.
The official said that to enable them to more effectively secure the country’s territorial waters, the navy will establish more LOS.
“We will be putting up several observatory stations in areas na hindi natin masyadong nakikita yung nangyayari. (…in areas where we normally can’t see what is happening) So that’s part of the modernization of the armed forces,” Mogol told reporters.
It was in the same interview that he revealed that the military now has its “eye in the north,” an automatic identification system that gives the navy the capability to detect foreign entering into Philippine waters, particularly in Batanes.
It’s littoral monitoring detachment co-located [with] the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather observation post in Basco, Batanes, he said.
The said monitoring detachment, which began operations in March, is being manned by Marines.
Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Jesus C. Millan said that the littoral observatory station was put up as support to to the National Coast Watch System (NCWS).
As of October 2013, the PN has 20 functional fixed LOS. For 2015, it is expecting to have additional six fixed LOS and nine mobile (two frigates and seven helicopters) LOS, giving the PN a total of 35 linked and functional fixed and mobile LOS which would exceed the initial target of 26.