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New Coast Guard commandant named

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Coast Guard Vice Admiral Artemio Abu yesterday assumed his new position as commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard, after his appointment was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1992, Abu used to serve as commander of the PCG District Southern Visayas, which has the jurisdiction of Negros Island territorial waters.

Prior to his appointment, Abu served as commander of the Maritime Safety Services Command (MSSC) and the Task Force Commander of the PCG Task Force Kaligtasan sa Karagatan — a unit that ensures the effective enforcement of laws and regulations relevant to the promotion of safety of life and property at sea within the Philippine maritime jurisdiction.

His appointment also came as the MRRV-9701 BRP Teresa Magbanua, a Multi-Role Response Vessel (MRRV) ordered by the Philippine Coast Guard from Japan, arrived in the country on February 26.

MRRVs play an important role in severe-weather rescue missions and patrolling in offshore and coastal zones, according to the Coast Guard.

The brand-new vessel has an overall length of approximately 96.6 meters, with a maximum speed of 24 knots and a cruising range of up to 4,000 nautical miles.

It is equipped with secure communication systems for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance, a helideck and hangar for helicopter operations, an underwater remotely operated vehicle for subsurface search and survey, high-speed rubber boats, and other essential equipment for maritime domain awareness and maritime law enforcement operations.

The Teresa Magbanua-class patrol vessel is a class of patrol vessels being built for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) which is based on the Japan Coast Guard’s Kunigami-class patrol vessel.

The MRRV has a helideck and a hangar that can accommodate the H145T2 helicopter of the PCG. She also has a hyperbaric chamber for those who have diving sickness and a survivor room that can accommodate those who will be rescued.*

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