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    U.S., Philippine Special Forces work shoulder-to-shoulder during joint exercise

    Balikatan 2019: U.S. and Philippine Special Forces work “Shoulder to Shoulder”

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Marcus Butler | Soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. Special Forces from 1st...... read more read more

    MANILA, Philippines – Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. Special Forces Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) approached Lubang Island by sea and air before landing within minutes of each other to begin simultaneous raids on specific target locations to simulate seizing an airfield, rescuing notional hostages, and capturing enemy role players April 10, 2019, as part of Exercise Balikatan 2019.

    Moving as one, the joint forces descended on the target locations with precision, highlighting the interoperability and full mission profile capabilities of both forces.

    “The airfield seizure allows for our U.S. Special Forces Soldiers and our Philippine partners to gain knowledge in areas that we would not usually operate in,” said Capt. Sean, a team leader with 1-1st SFG (Airborne). “The operation itself was an idea that was presented by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Special Operations Command to add to the capabilities for their forces to secure their borders.”

    The airfield seizure, which showcased special training and techniques from the U.S. military, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Australian Defence Force, only captured one aspect of Balikatan 2019.

    During this 35th iteration of Exercise Balikatan, which came to a close April 12, the Philippine and U.S. forces conducted counterterrorism training, amphibious operations, live-fire training, urban operations training, aviation operations, bilateral planning, subject matter expert exchanges, and humanitarian and civic assistance projects.

    Balikatan emphasizes the development of combined military modernization and capabilities by working together to maintain a high level of readiness, responsiveness, and bolstering military-to-military relations.

    “This exercise helps our Soldiers maintain a level of excellence and professionalism outside their normal scope of training,” said Sean. “This exercise offers us the chance to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our Philippine partner forces to help continue a lineage of camaraderie, and learning between our two countries.”

    “This training also helps to reinforce maritime security, territorial defense capabilities, and responsiveness to humanitarian disasters,” said a major with the Philippine Joint Special Operations Group. “To see our Soldiers excelling at this level shows the determination of everyone to ensure the security of our country.”

    Balikatan, which means “shoulder to shoulder,” is one of the keystone exercises for the Philippine and U.S. military collaboration and acts as a reinforcing point of stability for the Indo-Pacific region.



    Date Taken: 04.10.2019
    Date Posted: 04.17.2019 22:56
    Story ID: 317818
    Location: PH

    Web Views: 114
    Downloads: 1