AFP starts war games as Army trains with Japanese troops
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy has set the stage for the amphibious drill of the Armed Forces of the Philippines major service commands’ joint exercise to be held today in Antique.
Following an onsite inspection of the beach landing area at Patnongon town, the Navy conducted a tabletop exercise on board landing dock vessel BRP Tarlac.
The scheduled amphibious landing drill on Thursday is part of this year’s AFP joint exercise Dagit-Pa (Dagat-Langit-Lupa).
Naval forces central acting chief and amphibious force commander Capt. Raul Regis conducted last Saturday a site survey and inspection of the venue for the amphibious beach landing at Barangay Poblacion, Patnongon, Antique.
Regis and his team assessed the general features, key terrains and sea condition at the beach area of Patnongon town in preparation for the exercise.
Regis also led last Sunday the amphibious operations tabletop exercise aboard BRP Tarlac, anchored off Antique, to discuss and simulate procedures and the sequence of events for Thursday’s drill.
On BRP Tarlac are the different assets and troops from the Philippine Army, the Philippine Air Force and the Navy participating on Thursday’s amphibious exercise.
The exercise kicked off on Nov. 8 and will close on Friday. The exercise is aimed at integrating the joint operation capabilities of the major service commands and strengthen their interoperability.
The AFP war games are to be held as the Philippine Army holds a five-day joint training on relief and disaster operations with the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
According to Army spokesman Col. Xerxes Trinidad, the Japan-Philippine humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) field training exercises kicked off with an orientation on Monday and will continue until Nov. 19 involving the Army’s 525th engineer combat battalion and the 43rd infantry regiment of the JGSDF.
The drills, which would also see the participation of the Army reserve command’s National Capital Region’s community defense group, will be held at the Mandirigtas training area at the Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.
Trinidad said the joint exercise aimed to enhance the two armies’ capabilities, particularly on collapsed structure search and rescue and water search and rescue operations.
“The project is in line with the two countries’ bilateral initiative that started in 2019,” he pointed out.
Last month, the Japanese government donated P46.6 million worth of HADR equipment to the Army which included life boats and vests, chainsaws, digging tools, lighting apparatus with generators, and other items used in search and rescue operations.
The HADR equipment was turned over to the Army’s 51st Engineering Brigade, the standby disaster response unit in Metro Manila and neighboring areas.
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