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Navforwem celebrates 22nd anniversary


The Naval Forces Western Mindanao (Navforwem) celebrated its 22nd Founding Anniversary yesterday, October 9, 2018, with the theme “NFWM: 22 Years of Continuous Commitment Towards Peace & Development for Western Mindanao" graced by Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, flag officer in command,  Philippine Navy, as the Guest of Honor and Speaker.

The highlight of the event was the awarding of the NFWM best units and personnel, officers, civilian employees NFWM partner stakeholders who rendered meritorious services and greatly contributed to the mission accomplishment of the command for the past year.

The Marine Battalion Landing Team-1 (MBLT-1), BRP Mariano Alvarez (PS38), BRP Waray (LC288), BRP Filipino Flojo (PC386), BA 486, EM2 Erwin Zambales 818129 PN, Mr Carlos T Berbano CE, were bestowed with 'Battalion of the Year', 'Patrol Ship of the Year', 'Transport Ship of the Year', 'Patrol Craft of the Year', 'Boat Attack of the Year', 'Enlisted Personnel of the Year', and 'Civilian Employee of the Year' awards, respectively.

In a speech, the Flag Officer in Command said: “As we celebrate today's anniversary, let us take this opportunity to recommit ourselves in making the Western Mindanao,  a livable, peaceful, and secure environment for our people."

"Let us go beyond what we usually do to ensure that our brothers and sisters here can live a normal life. With your track record of success, we know that Western Mindanao is in good hands," said Vice Admiral Empedrad.

For his part,  Rear Admiral Medina reported the one year accomplishments of NFWM under his leadership.

These include the intensified territorial defense, security, and stability operatations which defeated the agressors and restricted the movements of the Abu Sayyaf Group, the kidnap-for-ransom gang, and other lawless elements who use the sea.

Medina also mentioned the enhancing alliances with the regional stage and in addressing common maritime issues on the borders, as well as the accomplishment on air patrol operation.

He said the Navforwem and Philippine Marine corps units have undertaken, a total of 332 major operations and 3,551 minor operations.

"With the support and security operations,  the command has been instrumental on the successful dregading of enemies capability resulting to the neutralization of a total of 48 Abu Sayyaf group personalities as well as the surrender of each 44 members and the surrender of 644 assorted firearms, 322 magazines, 3,292 ammunition, and 10 improvized explosive device."

Furthermore, Medina said that with the intensified intelligence operation that supported various maritime operations including amphibious raids and rescue operations,  the command successfully rescued a total of 16 foreign and local kidnap victims.

As part of Navforwem's 22nd anniversary, Vice Admiral Empredad and Vice Admiral Medina later in the day spearheaded in the activitation ceremony of Naval Station Rio Hondo.

The said naval station was built to stand guard guard to the city after the infamous Zamboanga siege in September 9, 2013, which will serve as force projection of Navy's Quick Reaction Force to guard the Southeastern Coastline of Zamboanga City. Hader Glang

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