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Sunday, April 5, 2015

AFP, US Armed Forces to come together for BALIKATAN 2015

(Balikatan Exercise)

CAMP GEN EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City (DWDD) - The Philippines and the United States will once again engage in Balikatan Exercise April of this year.
The Balikatan is an annual combined joint exercise between the Governments of the Republic of the Philippines and US which will be held in the Philippines on 20-30 April 2015. This is conducted every year to serve as a venue for joint and combined training between the Philippines and United States militaries.
Our Armed Forces and the US Armed Forces are coming together for this mutual defense and disaster response exercises towards a more responsive partnership to the community focusing on development and community service.
This year’s Balikatan is the 31st in the series of bilateral exercises based on the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.
The exercise is designed to enhance the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the United States Armed Forces in capability development in the conduct of not only traditional military training but with civil military projects focusing on reaching out towards priority communities.
BK15 will be conducted in three simultaneous events. Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA) events is the conduct of combined and joint civil-military operations by the AFP, US and Australian Defense Forces (ADF) in selected areas of the Western Command (WESCOM) area of responsibility in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan and Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility in Panay Island, to enhance civil-military cooperation in support of the AFP and US objectives.
In the Command Post Exercise (CPX) event, the scenario will focus on Marine Security (MARSEC) with Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise (CALFEX) to demonstrate the capability of the AFP National Maneuver Force.  Selected US and ADF staff members will form a Joint Liaison Group (JLG) to support the capability development at each staff.
While the Field Training Exercises (FTX) events will have the following involved unit; the Philippine Army (PA), Philippine Air Force (PAF), Philippine Navy (PN), Philippine Marine Corps (PMC), AFP Special Operations Force (SOF), United States Army (USAR), United States Air Force (USAF), United States Navy (USN), United States Marine Crops (USMC), and United States SOF (US SOF) will be held in Crow Valley Gunnery Range (CVGR), Tarlac; Basa Air Base (BAB), Floridablanca and Clark Air Base (CAB) Angeles City, both in Pampanga; Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija (FMNE); Marine Base Gregorio Lim (MBGL), Ternate, Cavite; Naval Base Heracleo Alano (NBHA), Sangley Point, Cavite and at Naval Station Leovigildo Gantiouqui (NSLG), San Antonio, Zambales  to enhance capacities and improve tactics, techniques and procedures, reinforce relations, and improve interoperability of AFP, US and ADF forces.
The Opening Ceremony of Balikatan 2015 will be held at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City on April 20 while the closing ceremony will be at Clark Airbase on April 30.
Participants from US will be around 5,000 while about 6,000 soldiers will be deployed by the AFP for the joint exercises.
The Balikatan Exercise Director for this year is Vice Admiral Aexander S Lopez, AFP, while Brigadier General Rodolfo B Santiago is the Exercise’s Vice Director and also the commandant of AFP Command and General Staff College.

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