Members of an elite unit of the Philippine Coast Guard are undergoing training to help secure Philippine borders against weapons of mass destruction.
The Coast Guard Special Operations Group (CGSOG) will undergo training focused on detecting WMDs and weapon components and in preventing their trafficking into the country, the PCG public affairs office said.
The training course will be handled by the U.S. Coast Guard and is part of the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative.
According to the U.S. Department of State, PSI "is a global effort that aims to stop trafficking of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern."
The Philippines is one of 101 participants in the PSI, which requires it to "undertake effective measures, either alone or in concert with other states, for interdicting the transfer or transport of WMD, their delivery systems, and related material." Among the ways to do this is inspecting vessels suspected of carrying WMDs and weapon components.
Commander Marco Antonio Gines, CGSOG commanding officer, said select members of his unit will also undergo training on advance boarding and on radio encryption.
The training program is an initiative of the U.S. Export Control and Border Security Assistance Program (EXBS), which is meant to "help countries around the world improve their ability to prevent and interdict shipments of dangerous items and technologies." The EXBS also donated encrypted radios that the Coast Guard will train to use.
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