Pinoy, US commandos resume Balance Piston training in Nueva Ecija
Philippine and US special forces kicked off this week their three-week war games in Nueva Ecija.
As the combined exchange training Balance Piston 22-1 bilateral exercise began in Luzon, US joint special operations command chief Lt. Gen. Bryan Fenton visited the military headquarters in Western Mindanao and assured continued assistance and closer cooperation in the campaign against local terrorists.
According to Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad, some 100 commandos from the Army’s Special Forces Regiment and the US Special Forces will take part in the exercise, which would be an avenue for the two units to “learn and exchange tactics, techniques, procedures and best practices.”
Trinidad said the joint exercise “also tests and validates plans, procedures and concepts to enhance collaboration and interoperability between Filipino and US special forces.”
The exercise kicked off on Feb. 14 at Fort Ramon Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija and will culminate on March 7.
This year’s Balance Piston exercise will focus on human rights and law of armed conflict; combat management of marksmanship skills; small unmanned aerial systems tactics, techniques and procedures; command and control structure; mission planning; and unconventional warfare subject matter experts exchange.
Also included in the focus of the war games are: crisis action planning; fundamentals of reconnaissance; find, fix, finish, exploit, analyze, disseminate; urban reconnaissance; and tactical combat casualty care.
Identify competency gaps
According to Army Special Forces Regiment acting commander Col. Eliglen Villaflor, the exercise would help the unit identify its operational capabilities and competency gaps.
At the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) headquarters in Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City, Fenton assured Westmincom chief Lt, Gen, Alfredo Rosario Jr. that the United States would extend more assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines in its counterterrorism operations.
During his visit, Fenton noted the efforts of the Westmincom against local terror groups and vowed to sustain the strong cooperation between the US and Philippine military.
According to Fenton, “Our partnership is grounded on our ironclad commitment to shared security. We will continue to work hand-in-hand to eradicate the extremists and terrorists. We admire your strategic and operational approaches in fighting against the terror groups that threaten international security. We are here to solidify further our alliance for the common good.”
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