Thursday, April 16, 2009

Exercise Balikatan Kicks Off in Republic of the Philippines

Approximately 8,000 U.S. and Republic of the Philippines service members kicked off Exercise Balikatan in Quezon City, Philippines, April 16. (Read the full story)

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the exercise that focuses on bilateral disaster relief and humanitarian assistance between the two countries.

During the exercise, units from throughout U.S. Pacific Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) personnel, and subject-matter experts from various Philippine civil defense agencies will participate in three simultaneous events, supporting a more efficient effort during possible contingency operations.

The first event consist of multiple humanitarian and civic assistance engagements focused on providing medical, dental, veterinary, and engineering assistance. The second event is a scenario-based staff exercise to practice headquarters-level joint force management. The last event involves cross-training and field training exercises to support the “shoulder-to-shoulder” philosophy of Balikatan.

U.S. military engineers have been working with their AFP counterparts for the past several weeks as part of Balikatan, partnering in road construction projects, providing upgrades to water systems, and building additions at several schools.

Each of the exercise events enable the participating service members to get to know each other, train together, and provide assistance in communities where the need is greatest. They also improve the ability of the U.S. and Philippines to operate as one team on joint projects.

The strong relationship that exists between the U.S. military and AFP is built on cooperation and collaboration, and is continually strengthened through exchange programs, training and military exercises like Balikatan.

No comments:

External Links Disclaimer
The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.

Comment Policy
Comments are welcome. However, comments will be reviewed for the following prior to posting:
-Sexual content
-Overly graphic, disturbing or offensive material