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US, PH hold amphibious landing exercises in Luzon

/ 04:44 AM September 19, 2015

THE PHILIPPINES and the United States will begin next week this year’s joint amphibious landing exercises in Luzon in the hope of improving response to regional issues and maritime security crises in the Asia-Pacific region.

Troops from the US 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (3d MEB), the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will participate in the Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex) 2016 from Sept. 21 to Oct. 9.

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Cmdr. Lued Lincuna, spokesperson for the Philippine Navy, said 750 sailors will join Phiblex 2016.

“The exercise will continue to enhance the interoperability between the US Marine air-ground task force and the AFP with the goal of improving our bilateral response to regional issues and maritime security crises within the Asia-Pacific,” the US Embassy said in a statement on Friday.

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To work side-by-side

Phiblex 2016, the 31st this year, will include approximately 650 US service members based in Okinawa, Japan, and Philippine sailors and marines working side-by-side to conduct a command post exercise, field training exercises, amphibious operations, combined arms training, civil-military operations and humanitarian and civic assistance projects.

A command post exercise in Palawan province will increase the Philippine military’s capability to plan for and execute bilateral maritime operations, the embassy said.

“The field training exercises in the vicinity of Angeles-Clark, to include small arms and artillery live-fire training, will provide the Philippine and US Marine units multiple opportunities to maintain and improve their unit skill sets while sharing best practices and enhancing an already high level of interoperability,” it said.

Humanitarian and civic assistance projects in Palawan will include engineering civic action projects.

These were sought to improve local infrastructure in the health sector and to share medical best practices to meet the Filipinos’ medical needs.

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Preparation for Balikatan

The joint military exercise, according to the embassy, “sustains our strong foundation of interoperability and strengthen our working relationships across the range of military operations—from disaster relief to complex expeditionary operations.”

It said the Phiblex would prepare both sides for the upcoming “large-scale exercise Balikatan” to take place next year. With a report from Julie M. Aurelio

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TAGS: 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Asia-Pacific Pacific region, Phiblex, Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise, Philippine Navy, United States
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