Politics

PH, US conclude ‘another successful’ Balikatan exercises


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine and United States navy on Friday concluded “another successful” Balikatan train, thought of because the “one of the largest ever held.”

“After two years of a global pandemic, U.S. and Philippine forces have come together to complete one of the largest Balikatan exercises ever held,” Chargé d’Affaires advert interim Heather Variava mentioned in a press release launched by the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

“This is a testament to the strength of the U.S.-Philippine alliance and the shared priorities of our countries,” she added.

Almost 9,000 troops from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the U.S. navy educated shoulder-to-shoulder from the northern coast of Luzon to Palawan during the last two weeks. They centered on maritime safety, amphibious operations, live-fire coaching, city operations, aviation operations, counterterrorism, and humanitarian help and catastrophe reduction, in line with the embassy.

“The completion of yet another successful Balikatan is a clear example of our shared commitment to advancing peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Clearfield mentioned.

“As a result of our mutual efforts, our militaries have grown together in friendship, and we are better prepared to respond as one cohesive team to any crisis or challenge,” he added.

AFP train director Maj. Gen. Charlton Sean Gaerlan, in the meantime, mentioned the expertise gained by the collaborating troops throughout this yr’s Balikatan train “complemented” the 2 international locations’ “security cooperation endeavors and helped enhance existing mutual security efforts.”

“Although there were limitations brought about by the pandemic, it is highly commendable that the exercise pushed through and generated a favorable outcome,” Gaerlan mentioned.

Greater than 50 plane, 4 ships, 10 amphibious craft, 4 HIMARS rocket system launchers, and 4 Patriot missile techniques had been deployed in the course of the train. This yr’s Balikatan additionally included some 40 personnel from the Australian Protection Drive, the U.S. Embassy mentioned.

“During Balikatan 22, U.S. Army Patriot missile systems were employed in amphibious operations in the Philippines for the first time. The exercise also saw the inaugural deployment of the U.S. Marine Corps’ 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment (3d MLR), which was established in Hawaii on March 3,” the embassy added.

Forces from the AFP and the U.S. navy additionally “experimented with sensors and fire support, and used expeditionary advanced bases (EABs) as the framework for an integrated coastal defense,” it additionally famous.

The navy personnel of each international locations employed greater than 50 plane, 4 ships, 10 amphibious craft, 4 excessive mobility artillery rocket system launchers, and 4 Patriot missile techniques in the course of the navy exercises.

“Over the course of eight days, the 3d MLR partnered with the Philippine Marine Corps Coastal Defense Regiment and provided command and control over multiple EABs across northern Luzon. This coastal defense was further enhanced by two Patriot Missile Batteries from the U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment and HIMARS rocket system from 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines,” the embassy mentioned.

“The U.S. Navy and Philippine Navy played key roles providing sealift and off-shore support,” it added.

Filipino and American navy troops additionally performed a number of humanitarian and civic help tasks, together with the renovation of 4 elementary faculties, a number of neighborhood well being engagements, and the change of superior emergency rescue and lifesaving methods, in line with the embassy.

“These construction projects, health engagements, and community relations events improved local infrastructure, facilitated the exchange of lifesaving medical skills, and strengthened ties between local communities and Philippine and American military forces,” it mentioned.

“While Balikatan 22 comes to a close, the AFP and U.S. forces will continue to train and stand together routinely during other exercises and initiatives throughout the year to promote readiness, interoperability, friendship, and security,” it added.

Balikatan, which implies “shoulder-to-shoulder” in Tagalog, is a long-standing bilateral train between the Philippines and the U.S. “highlighting the deep-rooted partnership” between the 2 international locations.

“This year’s Balikatan is a testament to the resiliency of the Philippines-United States alliance as we remain strong partners even after the various challenges we have encountered in the past two years,” mentioned AFP Chief of Employees Normal Andres Centino.

U.S. Marines with 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, 3d Marine Division and Philippine Marines with Force Reconnaissance Group conduct a close quarters battle range exercise at Marine Barracks Gregorio Lim in Cavite during Balikatan 22.

U.S. Marines with 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, 3d Marine Division and Philippine Marines with Drive Reconnaissance Group conduct a detailed quarters battle vary train at Marine Barracks Gregorio Lim in Cavite throughout Balikatan 22. Picture and caption from U.S. Embassy in Manila

 

 

U.S. and Philippine Marines and sailors conduct a bilateral amphibious landing at Claveria, Cagayan. 

U.S. and Philippine Marines and sailors conduct a bilateral amphibious touchdown at Claveria, Cagayan. Picture and caption from U.S. Embassy in Manila

JPV

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