PH-US Balikatan exercise set to begin in the Philippines

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Approximately 8,900 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the U.S. military are teaming up for Balikatan 2022, the 37th iteration of the Philippine-led annual exercise taking place across Luzon, March 28 to April 8.

The 3,800 AFP members and 5,100 U.S. military personnel will train shoulder-to-shoulder focusing on maritime security, amphibious operations, live-fire training, urban operations, aviation operations, counterterrorism, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

“During Balikatan, the U.S. Military and AFP will train together to expand and advance shared tactics, techniques, and procedures that strengthen our response capabilities and readiness for real-world challenges,” said Maj. Gen. Jay Bargeron, 3rd Marine Division Commanding General.

“The friendship and trust between our forces will enable us to accomplish any mission across the spectrum of military operations,” he added.

The exercise also includes a command post exercise that tests the AFP and U.S. forces’ ability to plan, command, and communicate with each other in a simulated environment. This training will bolster the collective security and defensive capabilities of the alliance.

“Exercise Balikatan is a testament to the strength of the Philippines and United States’ security relationship,” said Maj. Gen. Charlton Sean Gaerlan, AFP Exercise Director for Balikatan 22.

“The experience gained in the exercise complements our security cooperation endeavors and will help to enhance existing mutual security efforts,” he added.

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