Three countries launch joint trilateral air patrol

Kuala Lumpur (ANTARA News) - A Trilateral Air Patrol (TAP) between Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines was launched at the Subang Air Base, Malaysia, on Wednesday.

The launch was conducted by Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, and Philippine National Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana.

On the occasion, Ryacudu was accompanied by Indonesian Military Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo, while Hussein was accompanied by Malaysias Deputy Defense Minister Mohd Johari bin Baharum, Secretary General of Malaysias Defense Ministry Abdul Rahim bin Mohamad Radzi, Chief of the Armed Forces Raja Mohamed Affandi bin Raja Mohamed Noor, Chief of the Ground Troops General Zulkiple bin Hj Kassim, Chief of Navy Admiral Ahmad Kamarulzaman bin Haji Ahmad Badaruddin, and Chief of Air Force Army General Hj Affendi bin Buang.

Malaysia also invited representatives of the defense ministries of Brunei Darussalam and Singapore.

The launch of TAP was a follow-up of the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement between Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

TAP will provide an air control component that complements marine patrol activities, while a Trilateral Maritime Patrol (TMP) was launched in June 2017 in Tarakan.

The objective of TAP is to conduct air patrols in the maritime territorial waters of the three countries and to provide operational support to maritime units of marine forces.

TAP was one of the initiatives to strengthen security and readiness of air space and maritime surveillance.

The patrol also aimed to intensify security in the eastern waters of Sabah through the implementation of air patrols with the three countries and to strengthen the states security through diplomatic relations between Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

"The implementation of TAP follows the launch of the TMP to combat violence. The TMP aims to ensure that militant groups, including the Islamic State, will not conduct operations in the Sulu Sea against the three countries and to combat piracy and prevent kidnappings and armed robberies," Hussein stated.(*)