The Philippine Army and the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force held a ceremony on Friday, November 19, in Mandirigtas Training Area, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, to mark the end of the 1st Japan-Philippines Joint Disaster Response Exercises.
Army reservists and combat engineers from the 525th Engineer Combat Battalion (525ECB) worked alongside Japanese troops in a series of drills aimed at improving the Army’s capabilities and knowledge in handling HADR equipment given by Japan last month.
The closing ceremony was attended by the Defense Attaché of Japan to the Philippines Col. Yu Nakano; Vice Defense Attaché Cmdr. Takeharu Sekini; Head of the Japanese HADR Training Delegation Ms. Maika Saito; the Assistant Chief of Staff for Reservists and Retiree Affairs, OG9, PA Col. Jaime Datuin; and 525ECB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Ervin Divinagracia.
Col. Datuin thanked the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force for their continued assistance with HADR. He also said his anticipation for more collaboration and joint training in the future.
“In the coming years, we hope to sustain this established relationship between our two nations. Not only for the Armies we belong but also to the greater service of humankind around the world,” Col. Datuin concluded.