US-Philippine exercises start on October 9
Joint exercises between Philippine and United States forces dubbed as Kamandag 3 will start next week.
According to the US Embassy, the opening ceremony will be conducted in Subic Bay International Airport on Wednesday.
"US and Philippine service members will begin the third annual Kamandag exercise on October 9, 2019, to promote multinational military interoperability, readiness, and capabilities," the embassy said.
"The exercise is scheduled for October 9 to 18, 2019 at various training sites throughout Luzon and Palawan," it added.
During this years activity "US and Philippine forces will conduct amphibious operations, live-fire training, urban operations, aviation operations, counter-terrorism response operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions."
"New for this year’s Kamandag, US and Philippine forces will conduct assault amphibious vehicle training together. It will also be the first to include US and Philippine low-altitude air defense training and threat reaction training," the embassy said.
"Together, these activities represent an increase in military capability and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and demonstrate the ability to forward deploy forces in the event of a crisis or natural disaster," it stated.
The embassy noted that the "exercise will also feature cooperative health engagements, civil affairs interactions, and community relations events throughout Luzon."
"The purpose is to exchange information on hygiene skills, life support, first response, and safety protocols, as well as conduct religious ministry, primary education, and athletic events," it stated.
"Humanitarian and civic assistance activities enable our service members to foster improved military to military ties and provide support to local communities," it added.
It also mentioned that "Kamandag is an acronym for the Filipino phrase “Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat,” which translates to “Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea,” highlighting the partnership between the US and Philippine militaries."
"Exercises like Kamandag 3 strengthen international partnerships and our forces’ abilities to rapidly respond to crises throughout the Indo-Pacific region," it stated.
"The goal of Kamandag 3 is to increase counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief capabilities through military exchanges," it added. Robina Asido/DMS