U.S. Transfers Custody of New Joint Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center

(From L-R) Director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group PCSUPT Marcelo C. Morales, PNP Director General Ronald M. de la Rosa, and U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Klecheski participate in the blessing of the new Joint Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center in Puerto Princesa City.

(From L-R) PNP Maritime Group PCSUPT Marcelo C. Morales, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Klecheski, and PNP Director General Ronald M. de la Rosa review the small arms range and equipment from a previous U.S. donation co-located with the new Joint Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center in Puerto Princesa City.

(Front row L-R) PNP Director General Ronald M. de la Rosa, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Klecheski, U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency Representative LCDR Jeremy Obenchain, PNP-MG Director General PCSUPT Marcelo C. Morales, and WESCOM Commander Lieutenant General Raul L. Del Rosario (back row L-R) Commander Philippine Coast Guard District Palawan Commodore Joselito F. de la Cruz, Philippine Marine Corps 3rd Marine Brigade Commander Brigadier General Nathaniel Y. Casem, Deputy Director for Logistics PCSUPT Jonas B. Calleja, and Regional Director of PRO4B PCSUPT Wilben M Mayor.

Manila, August 8, 2017 — U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Michael Klecheski transferred custody of a brand new Joint Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center (JMLETC) valued at over Php 65.4 million to the Government of the Philippines in a ceremony in Magarwak, Barangay Santa Lourdes, Puerto Princesa City, on August 4, 2017.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald M. de la Rosa was the guest of honor and keynote speaker, and DCM Klecheski also delivered remarks during the turnover.

The JMLETC, funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, is part of the larger National Coast Watch System and is designed to bolster the Philippines’ maritime domain awareness capabilities and to stop large-scale weapons from transiting through or near Philippine territorial waters.  The facility will also be used to conduct maritime law enforcement training for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Navy (PN), and PNP to enhance vessel boarding, use of force, evidence preservation, and case package preparation techniques.

In the coming weeks, the U.S. Coast Guard will send a team of maritime law enforcement experts who will conduct a one-week Maritime Law Enforcement workshop with PCG, PN, and PNP.  This workshop will focus on sharing best practices and enhancing the interoperability among the three participating agencies in support of the National Coast Watch System 2017 Field Training Exercises scheduled to take place in Manila, Palawan, and Cebu in mid-September.

As strong allies, the U.S. and Philippines share a wide range of interests, and we will continue to work in partnership to ensure our joint maritime security efforts and other lines of cooperation are robust and effective.