By Priam Nepomuceno

BRP Laurence Narag (Photo courtesy of Naval Forces Western Mindanao)

MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) on Thursday announced it has deployed one of its newly-acquired Acero-class missile gunboats to the Zamboanga City-based Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM), as part of efforts to boost its patrol and external defense capabilities.

In a news release, NFWM deputy commander for fleet operations Capt. Hilarion Cesista said the BRP Laurence Narag (PG-907), equipped with the Spike NLOS (non-line of sight) missile system and one of the PN’s most capable naval assets, was formally deployed to the NFWM on Tuesday.

“With the arrival of PG-907, she will significantly improve the capability of our naval forces in terms of external defense operation, internal defense operation and other maritime operations particularly securing the sealines of communication,” Cesista said.

He added the missile gunboat will help enhance maritime security in Western Mindanao.

The BRP Laurence Narag is a part of the Acero-Class/Shaldag Mk V fast attack interdiction craft series, of which six are now in PN service and another three to be delivered within the next two years.

These 32-meter vessels are designed for high-speed operations and precision strikes, significantly boosting the Navy’s operational capabilities.

The BRP Laurence Narag, along with the BRP Herminigildo Yurong (PG-906), was commissioned last May 21 at Naval Station Jose Andrada, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

“These vessels are named in honor of the late Marine Staff Sgt. Herminigildo Yurong and Marine Cpl. Laurence Narag, both Medal of Valor awardees who sacrificed their lives during the Philippine government’s campaign against Moro rebels in Mindanao in 2000,” he added. (PNA)