Philippines, US end ‘Balikatan’ war games

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US Marines from Company B, 1st Battalion Landing Team, 5th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and their Philippine counterparts storm a beach to simulate a combat rubber boat raid in the culmination of their 12-day joint military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2013 between the Philippines and the United States Monday, April 15, 2013, at the Philippine marine base, in Ternate, Cavite. The annual joint military exercise ended Wednesday. AP PHOTO/BULLIT MARQUEZ

MANILA, Pilippines—The Philippines and the United States ended their 29th Balikatan joint military exercises on Wednesday, and immediately set about planning next year’s event, raising the possibility of inviting Japan and Australia to make it a multilateral exercise.

Brian Goldbeck, the US deputy chief of mission here, described the recently concluded exercise as the “most ambitious intellectual exchanges in the history of Balikatan.”

“This year’s exercise featured a medical symposium, an aviation forum, a senior enlisted forum, a chaplain forum and a search-and-rescue forum,” Goldbeck said in his remarks.

He underscored the Balikatan activities that went beyond the traditional military exercises like the building of classrooms that can withstand typhoons and floods.

He noted that most of the residents in areas where the engagement was held said all they wanted was for their children to have a good education.

“So many of the families that our service members met in Zambales echoed the same concerns. They just want their children to be able to go to school. And so together, we built a footbridge, a school and a community center where they can study,” Goldbeck said.

He said that 2,700 Filipinos received free medical services, almost 650 received free dental services and 2,000 farm animals and household pets received free inoculations during the exercise.

Maj. Gen. Virgilio Domingo, the director of the Philippine part of the exercise, stressed the Balikatan’s contribution to enhancing peace support operations, referred to as military operations other than war (MOOTW).

Disaster response

Domingo said these comprised a disaster response scenario exercise, humanitarian civil assistance activities that include engineering and civic action projects and “a lot of community health engagements.”

With natural disasters becoming a pervasive security threat in the country, next year’s Balikatan exercises would again focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster response capability, he said.

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  • mangtom

    These Balikatan Exercises are more productive than the bombing activities of the NPA to extort businesses. The Balikatan Exercises should direct their effort in eradicating and eliminating these leeches of society. It is apparent that the Philippine Armed Forces are unable to stop the activities of these lazy bums who thrive on the sweat and blood of the law-abiding Filipino citizenry. First go after Sison and the other leaders of this hoodlums who are having a great time residing overseas and letting their foot soldiers do the dirty job for them.

  • Albert Einstien

    ha ha yearly they keep practicing..they have NOT memorized it yet….the only thing i like with balikatan is that the fire-arms of US will be donated to their counter part filipino forces….babaha na naman ng mga us second hand fire-arms ang black market…..lol

    • Loggnat

      Balikatan is what the US forces calls R & R (rest and recreation)… sun, sand, sea food, and San Migs… :)) A nice change from the cold weather in S. Korea and Japan where those Marines are based. Preparing for a battle is like rehearsing a dance choreography in which each player/participant learns what they are expected to do when the real show is on. If and when everybody does their part like a second nature and perfectly, the result is a great and awesome show. The same is true with fighting a war in a specific battleground. The practice has to be done in the specific condition and terrain that the battle will be fought. There are a multitude of invisible part of a battlefield rehearsal that are not visually apparent to a naked eye. The communication part alone from the smallest fighting unit to the central command has to be perfected. Communication is critical in coordination between the air, land and sea forces and all these have to be encrypted to prevent the enemy from intercepting and disseminating these important information. When the show is on and the players are perfect in their part that they are tasked to do, the opposing forces’ fate is akin to a massacre if they are not up to par with the US forces. I witness this fact with my own eyes during ‘Desert Storm’ when the 4th or 5th largest armed forces in the world was squashed like desert roach by the coalition forces which the majority is made up of US forces. An exceptionally well conducted and choreograph battle that are a result of practice, practice, and more practice until it becomes second nature to the players/participants. FYI, the US forces does not practice with give-away arms and equipments. They practice with the arms and equipment that they will use in the real thing plus stuff that the world has not seen before.

      • Albert Einstien

        well in this age of NUCLEAR ICBM’s those balikatan are already of NO USE…the actual practice is with the ONE who has the HONOR to push the nuclear buttons in case of WAR…..if WW3 erupts …even living victims can be hardy found….& who will look for them…balikatan is indeed ONLY for R&R’s and for ARM sale display….. : > ).

      • Crazy_horse101010

        ive lived the treat of nuclear war with the cold war when everyone was building bomb shelters. there has been dozens of wars since and not one nuke was used so until that or if that happens you had better count on the ground troops i know you are obsessed with the nukes but dont worry until it happens life is to short and what can you do about it lay on a missile silo to stop it

      • Loggnat

        It will be useful if one day China finds an ancient map showing Palawan or maybe even Luzon as named part of China and decided to forcefully claim it with conventional forces so as not to start a nuclear annihilation war. Maybe the US will assist the Philippines in preventing their take-over of much needed resources. But then again, maybe you are right….. the US might decide against helping the Philippines. Either way, Good Luck!! :)) I’ve fought my share of wars, and anyway, wars are fought by the young….

      • Albert Einstien

        china have maps claiming palawan ..i’ve seen one but it’s NEW but they will claim it as ancient…the problem is…….. it is mongolian map..& mongolians are afraid of water their strength is HORSE..that’s why they only conquer land territories……lol

      • Mamang Pulis

        naka level up na naman si genius—anu ba yan pinag sasabi mo?

      • BIGButo

        Dumb comment

      • Crazy_horse101010

        as they say practice makes prefect i know they train with tank forces from all over the world out in the american deserts and they used to use russian weapons and tactics to practice their war games on. that way they knew what they were up against. hopefully

    • Mamang Pulis

      firearms of US will be donated…

      genius, brand new mga M4 dito—saka hindi donated yan, may bayad pa rin.

      maro ang mga kano–walang libre.

      kung yun bala nga nila hindi puede gamitin sa regular M16 ng AFP dahil naka design yun sa 1:7 twist….kaya malabo na i donate yan…sabihin mo na puedeng gamitin pero malamang na pumutok sa mukha ng sundalong gumagamit ang barrel nya.

      • Loggnat

        1.7 twist is military specs. and used primarily to be able to stabilize heavier and longer bullets ie. tracer bullets. Any bullet greater than 70 mg is best used with 1.7 twist, less than 70 mg is best with 1.9 twist. Any bullet with the same caliber is usable in both M16 and M4, some are just more accurate and suitable to each firearms. Shooting bullets weighing between 66 mg and 74 mg will probably have no difference if used for shooting M4 (1.7 twist) and M16 (1.9 twist). Barrels of both M4 and M16/AR15 are available in different twists, length and thickness. You can choose what you prefer to use in your rifle/carbine.

      • Mamang Pulis

        right–usable in M4/M16A2 of the SAME barrel twist : 1:7 or 1:9, whereas the the older M16 barrel has [AFP’s] 1:14 or 1:16. not recommended unless you ran out of ammo.

    • Mamang Pulis

      genius—kung naiintindihan mo ito :

      safety in monotony

      sundalo ka.

  • JK1000

    Puro tulo laway na lang ang magawa ng mga filipino soldiers sa mga gamit ng mga kano. Tapos kinakapkapan pa ang mga sundalong filipino ng mga kano para masiguro na walang mga totoong bala na ginagamit sa Balikatan at ito ay ginagawa nila sa atin sariling bayan.

  • i_am_filipino

    BIG WELCOME USA,

  • Mamang Pulis

    masaya ang asawa ni master sa fort magsaysay at patok ang pork/chicken adobo nila..

    very good.

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