Philippines, US Marines to hold joint outreach, war games
United States Marines will conduct joint military exercises with Philippine troops and engage in community outreach projects as part of the annual RP-US Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex), the military said Thursday.
Phiblex 2012, the 28th such joint exercise between the two countries’ military, will involve joint and combined training between US forces and the Marine Corps of the Philippines, the latter said in a statement.
This year’s edition will focus on disaster response preparedness, community development and humanitarian assistance projects, it said.
Following the launch on Monday, the training exercises will be held simultaneously in different venues, including Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija; Basa Air Base in Clark, Pampanga; Marine Barracks Gregorio Lim in Ternate, Cavite; Crow Valley in Tarlac; Naval Station San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales; and in Palawan.
“The exercises will focus on revitalizing the interoperability of the Philippine and US militaries in post-conflict response through the conduct of disaster rehabilitation and rural development projects,” said First Lieutenant Cherryl Tindog, the Marine Corps’ public affairs chief.
She said two villages in Cavite and Palawan will benefit from the Engineering Civic Action Program, while thousands of local residents will be served by the Medical Action Program, both part of the outreach activities.
On the Philippine side, the 4th Marine Battalion, field artillery battalion, in-shore boat battalion, assault armor battalion and the Marine Corps Training Center will participate, Tindog said.
On the US side, it will be the Okinawa-based 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. The US contingent will be coming on board the USS Germantown but Tindog could not say exactly how many US troops would be participating.
The joint exercises are going to Palawan for the first time, but Tindog said this had nothing to do with tensions with China over the disputed Spratly archipelago, which is located west of the province.
Palawan fitted the training requirements and was a good exercise venue for territorial defense, Tindog said.
The island is also one of the Marine Corps’ areas of responsibility, she noted.
“We have two battalions there, so it would be better to hold exercises in our areas of responsibility and places we know best,” she said.
She said the Palawan exercises would focus on simulated “boat raids.”
Originally posted at 08:19 pm | Thursday, October 13, 2011
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