Philippine, US armies start one-month drill in Palawan
Philippine and United States armies officially started a one-month military exercise dubbed as "Balance Piston 22-3" in the province of Palawan on Monday.
1st Lt. Jerrica Angela Manongdo, deputy civil military operation officer of the Special Forces Regiment (SFR), said the exercise aims to improve the interoperability and strengthen the Philippine Army's elite troops in Palawan.
Manongdo said the exercise will be participated in by approximately 100 Filipino and American troops.
In a statement, SFR Commander Col. Ferdinand Napuli said the exercises will be participated by troops under the 18th Special Forces Company and a team from the US Army Special Forces.
"With what we are about to conduct with our long standing allies, 18 SFC can better perform its functions the way it’s designed to be - a company size independent unit that has the ability to gain decisive advantage over a larger or well-equipped adversary," he said.
"We may be at peace time, but it's paramount that we are prepared for pressing security challenges," he added.
According to SFR Assistant Chief of Staff for Education and Training Lt. Col. Paulo Baylon, the bilateral exercise will focus on long range marksmanship, combat marksmanship, close quarter combat, small unit tactics, unconventional warfare, maritime operations, and full mission profile or culmination exercise.
"For a whole month, our men will train with the US Special Forces Operational Detachments -A 1336. We've moved heaven and earth for this exercise to take place in Palawan," he said.
"We are certain that this will enable us to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures to enhance interoperability between US and Filipino Special Forces,"Baylon added.
Manongdo said Balance Piston, a recurring bilateral training between the special operation forces of the two countries started in the early 2000s. Robina Asido/DMS