7,500 troops join 2019 Balikatan exercises
MANILA, Philippines — Over 7,500 military troopers from the Philippines, the United States and Australia will take part in this year’s Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises in Northern and Southern Luzon as its 35th iteration evolves from a bilateral to a multilateral activity.
The Balikatan exercises, which officially kick off on Monday, will have 4,000 participants from the Philippines; 3,500 from the United States; and 50 from Australia in humanitarian civic activities, special operations training sessions, and military drills.
Drills for this year’s Balikatan, which runs from April 1 to April 12, include a combined arms live fire exercise in Tarlac; an amphibious exercise in Zambales; special operations training in Ternate and Sangley Point, Cavite, as well as in Clark Airbase in Pampanga; and a staff exercise in Palawan.
There are around 30 community relations activities slated for the Balikatan. —Jeannette I. Andrade
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