PH, US Conduct Balikatan’s Amphibious Exercise in Cagayan Valley

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Philippine and United States armed forces conducted a bilateral amphibious exercise (AMPHIBEX) on March 31, 2022 in the vicinity of Claveria, Cagayan Valley as part of the 37th iteration of Philippine-US Exercise Balikatan.

AMPHIBEX involves the movement of assault amphibious vehicles (AAVs) from L-class ships to shore. It requires the vertical insertion of troops using different air assets of both armed forces. The activity demonstrated the bilateral force’s ability to seize a littoral objective as part of a complex, combined arms operations between Philippine and US ground, naval, and aviation assets.

“This exercise continues to build the relationship with our Filipino counterpart in Northern Luzon and across the Philippines. We chose Northern Luzon as it gives us to look at different beach sites to train on different terrains, which keeps our skills sharp and provides our counterparts the opportunity to continue to train in areas that challenge us. We just don’t repeat things over and over again,” Captain Kevin Smith, Strategic Communications Officer, 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment said.

The execution of the AMPHIBEX began with the launch of the AAVs of the Marines from USS Ashland and BRP Tarlac. The AAVs then conducted the mechanized assault and seized a beach in Claveria, which was the main effort to attack the objective.

“Cagayan was chosen as the location of this year’s Amphibex because it’s a changing scenario and situation and the Philippines has a wide shoreline. This place also fits the standards of the training as it can accommodate a large number of forces to land,” Major General Laurence Mina, 5th Infantry Division Commander said.

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