Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines have launched a Trilateral Air Patrol at the Subang Air Base in Malaysia on Wednesday.
The TAP is a follow-up of the Trialteral Cooperative Arrangement between the three countries. It is expected to provide an air control component complementing marine patrol activities, Antara News reported Thursday.
A Trilateral Maritime Patrol was launched in June 2017 in Tarakan. 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," Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was quoted as saying Wednesday.
The launch was conducted by Hussein, Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, and Philippine National Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana.
Malaysia also invited representatives of the defense ministries of Brunei Darussalam and Singapore.