Philippines, US to hold military exercises in April
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines and the United States will again hold large-scale bilateral military exercises next month in various military camps involving about 8,000 troops from both sides, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
About 2,000 Filipino troops and 6,000 American counterparts will take part in the latest PH-US Balikatan exercises from April 5 to 15. It is the 27th in the series of bilateral military exercises conducted every year between the Philippines and the US.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the AFP said the field training exercises, the core component of the Balikatan exercises, would be held simultaneously in different venues and would involve ground forces, sailors, marines and airmen of various AFP units together with US forces.
They will be held in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija; Basa Air Base and Clark Air Base in Pampanga; Crow Valley Range in Tarlac; Naval Station L. Gantionqui in Zambales; Sangley Point in Cavite City; Marine Base Ternate in Cavite; and Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base in Lapu-Lapu City.
The military exercises will also focus on the “interoperability of the Philippine and US militaries in post-conflict response through the conduct of disaster rehabilitation and rural development projects.”
Under an engineering civic action program, Army, Air Force and Navy engineering units of the AFP will combine with US engineering forces to construct two-room school buildings in five barangays (villages) in Central Luzon.
The five villages will also benefit from a medical action program, dental civic action program, veterinary civic action program and community relations activities.
“The conduct of Balikatan 2011 allows a long and lasting partnership founded firmly on common heritage between two freedom-loving countries committed to the preservation of liberty and democracy,” AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr. said in a statement.