News: Philippine, U.S. Marines work together to learn new tactics
Story by Lance Cpl. David Hersey
NAVAL STATION LEOVIGILDO GANTIOQUI, SAN ANTONIO, ZAMBALES, Republic of the Philippines - With steady hands the Marine places the charge against the door, carefully attaching it before stepping away. Once reaching a safe distance from the door, he twists the cap, detonating the charge and destroying the door.
This was a day of bilateral training for Philippine and U.S. Marines at Naval Station Leovigildo Gantioqui, San Antonio, Zambales, Republic of the Philippines, Oct. 2 during Amphibious Landing Exercise 2014.
The Philippine and U.S. Marines, with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, currently part of 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade, III Marine Expeditionary Force and 2nd Platoon, 2nd Company, 14th Provisional Battalion, Philippines Marine Corps, demonstrated the use of explosive charges.
During the demonstration, the Marines used various charges from the bangalore torpedo, used for breaching concertina wire, to the M18 claymore mine, used for ambushes and perimeter security.
“We’re showing them how we operate and what kind of gear we use,” said 1st Lt. Tyler A. Kistner, a platoon commander with 3rd. Bn., 3rd Marines. “Doing this will not only show what we, as a force, are capable of, but also helps them to work together with us.”
PHIBLEX 14 is a bilateral training exercise designed to demonstrate the commitment of the U.S. and Philippines to mutual security, and ensures the readiness of a bilateral force to rapidly respond to regional humanitarian crises.
By showing the capabilities of our forces, the Philippine Marines will be more confident working together with us, according to Lance Cpl. Wesley V. McCracken, range manager for the demonstration.
“By sharing our knowledge with them, we’re building camaraderie and trust between us,” said McCracken. “It lets them know that we’re capable of handling any situation we may end up facing, and that they can rely on us to do our job.”
For the PMC, the demonstration offered new experiences and knowledge while also adding new techniques to their arsenal, according to Philippine Marine 2nd Lt. Johnrou A. Cacho, platoon commander for 2nd Platoon, 2nd Company, 14th Provisional Bn.
“We may have this kind of gear in the future,” said Cacho. “It is good that we have experience with it now, so we can be prepared when it is our turn.”
The demonstration was an effective way to build bonds between the Marines, according to Kistner.
“Bilateral training between our forces and the PMC is a great way to build relationships,” said Kistner. “We exchanged tactics and experiences while also getting to blow something up, which is always fun.”