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NOLCOM Top Military Officials Ensure Readiness of the Northernmost Territorial Defense Outposts

Camp Aquino, Tarlac City – Military top Officials of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spearheaded by LTGEN FERNYL G BUCA PAF inspected the two farthest Naval Detachments in Basco and Mavulis in the province of Batanes on January 27 and 28, 2024.

During the visit, the military officials, along with the BALIKATAN 39-2024 planners, inspected the facilities to ensure that the country’s defense outpost is equipped and prepared to safeguard the Batanes Island Group Area and secure and control Luzon Strait and other critical maritime areas. Apart from that, operational procedures were assessed and reviewed with the aim of strengthening the defense posture in the northernmost island.

Northernmost Territorial Defense Outposts

The Luzon strait which includes the Balintang and Bashi Channels is within the NOLCOM’s Joint Operational Area is a strategically important factor in maneuvering forces for strategic advantage where it is also considered a chokepoint for naval and air traffic.

Inaugurated in October 2023, the Naval Detachment in Mavulis Island in Batanes, strengthens the Philippines’ defense and strategic security capabilities in Northern Luzon. It is poised to play a pivotal role in securing the Philippine territory, sovereignty and sovereign rights in order to protect the nation’s maritime borders and interests.

The NOLCOM Commander, LTGEN Buca, said the visit highlights NOLCOM’s commitment to national defense and security as well as part of the transitional phase towards territorial defense operation and a site inspection for the upcoming BALIKATAN Exercises 39–24, the largest bilateral military exercise.

Northernmost Territorial Defense Outposts

“It is the mandate of the NOLCOM AFP to protect and serve the nation’s interests. The northernmost defense outpost plays a crucial role in our defense strategy and that we must continue investing to ensure its preparedness and capabilities.”

The visit to Mavulis Naval Detachment also boosted the morale of the troops, composed of a 14-man team from the Philippine Navy (Marines) and Civilian Active Auxiliary who are taking post in the detachment.

“Nagpapasalamat po kami kay LTGEN FERNYL G BUCA PAF, ang Commander ng NOLCOM at sa iba pang military Commanders sa inyong pagbisita para makita ang kalagayan namin dito sa Mavulis. Kami ay masaya at nakita namin ang inyong buong suporta. Kahit malayo po kami sa aming mga pamilya kami ay patuloy na magsakripisyo alang-alang sa pagbantay ng ating soberinya at sa bansang Pilipinas”, said Sgt Harley Calicaran PN(M).

Northernmost Territorial Defense Outposts

LTGEN Buca also expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the dedication and sacrifices of the troops deployed in the Mavulis Naval Detachment, who play a significant role in monitoring potential security threats and illegal activities in the country’s exclusive economic zone and territorial waters. Further, they reported that no foreign fishermen were monitored in this part of our territorial waters.

A raising of the flag and the singing of Lupang Hinirang resounded at the top of the Mavulis Island in Batanes.

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