UK Marines join ‘Kamandag’ exercise as observers
This year’s “Kamandag” military exercise has gotten bigger with the participation of the United Kingdom.
For the seventh iteration of Kamandag, around 950 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and 850 US Marines will train alongside the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, Republic of Korea Marine Corps and the British Armed Forces will bring observers to the exercise.
According to a statement released on Friday by the Marine Rotational Force Southeast Asia (MRF-SEA) of the US Marine Corps (USMC), the exercise is scheduled from Nov. 9 to Nov. 20 and will be conducted at various training sites throughout Luzon, Batanes, Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi, and Palawan.
Troops from Japan and South Korea acted as observers for the first time during the Kamandag exercise last year.
“Kamandag” means “venom” in Filipino, but it is also an acronym derived the more benign Tagalog phrase “Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat,” which means “Cooperation of the Warriors of the Sea.”
The Philippine and the United States have conducted Kamandag since 2016, and it is one of many exercises demonstrating the participating nations’ long-standing commitment to defense cooperation and regional security.
Participation from Japan and South Korea, and observers from the United Kingdom in this year’s iteration “underscores the global importance of maritime security, demonstrating our combined commitment to maintaining stability and peace across the Indo-Pacific region.” INQ