News: Marines, Philippine Marines raid beach as part of Phiblex '11
Story by Gunnery Sgt. J. L. Wright Jr.
KATUNGKULAN BEACH, Republic of the Philippines – Concealed under the cover of darkness, 60 Marines from Company B, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, and 48 Philippine Marines from 12th Marine Battalion Landing Team, Armed Forces of the Philippines, conducted a bilateral boat raid here, Oct. 11.
The raid was part of Amphibious Landing Exercise 2011, a bilateral training exercise conducted with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and is designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and continue to build professional relationships between the two countries.
Additionally, throughout the exercise U.S. service members will work alongside their Philippine counterparts to carry out a series of Civil-Military Operations, to include engineering, dental and medical civil action projects.
The landing teams boarded their 18 Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Crafts, and set off to complete the raid, assault a mock enemy and secure the objective. After a 15-nautical mile journey, the Marines and their counterparts stormed the beachhead dismounted and began their assault.
“A boat raid is an integral part of an amphibious landing,” said Capt. Robert Rodriguez, company commander, Company B, BLT 1/7. “The purpose is to land clandestinely on a hostile shore to assault and seize enemy targets near water,” the Chicago native said. He added that the unit is trained to designed to make a quick strike on the enemy and withdrawal to amphibious shipping, or nearby ship assets.
Rodriguez's Philippine counterpart, 2nd Lt. Jan Job Elumbaring, the company commander for 12th Marine BLT, said there were several benefits to conducting this bilateral training.
“This training benefits both the Philippine Marines and the U.S. Marines by enhancing our military skills,” he said. “It also is great for building comradery, and gives us an overview on some modern equipment.”
According to 3rd MEB leadership, this sort of training is exactly what Phiblex '11 is designed to accomplish.
The Brigade's participation in Phiblex '11 not only improves interoperability with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, but also supports peace and stability in the region, said Sgt. Maj. Robert L. Caldwell, sergeant major, 3rd MEB.
“This exercise is particularly important for these Japan-based Marines and sailors in their ability to support the peace and security of the Asia-Pacific region.”
For more stories and photos from Phiblex '11, visit www.facebook.com, keyword “Phiblex '11.”