PH, US, Japan troops wrap up annual anti-terror, disaster response drills
MANILA, Philippines—Filipino, American and Japanese troops wrapped up their annual joint drills on Friday (Oct. 8).
Over the past few days, the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC), the US Marine Corps and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) trained together to test counterterrorism and emergency responses through exercises called Kamandag (Kaagapay ng mga Mandirima ng Dagat).
The JGSDF showcased humanitarian assistance and disaster response capabilities and conducted technical exchanges with counterparts from the PMC and the Philippine Navy Construction Brigade, the PMC said in a statement.
The USMC trained with Filipino counterparts in Cagayan province for planning of strategic coastal defense and deployment and use of shore-based weapons and combat service support assets to control communications in waterways and sea lanes.
The PMC in Palawan held an online staff integration activity and key leaders’ engagement with American counterparts.
The PMC also simulated a counterterrorism operation in recapturing an island in Corregidor using the Philippine Navy’s multi-purpose attack craft.
Because of the pandemic, less than 300 troopers participated in the joint drills, a far cry from previous years when as many as 2,000 soldiers joined.
A ceremony to wrap up the exercises was held at the PMC headquarters in Taguig City on Friday.
Kamandag replaced Phiblex, a large-scale amphibious-landing exercise between American and Filipino troops, which adopted a new name after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Philippine military to stop training with the United States.
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