Activities for the PHL-US Balikatan Exercises, set

MANILA, Philippines — Various activities will be held in line with the opening of the Philippine-US Balikatan Exercises in various areas of Luzon and Visayas.

In an opening ceremony of the combined joint civil military operations task force at the Central Command Camp Lapu-Lapu, military officials said the military exercises will focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and counter-terrorism operations.

This is aimed at providing communities the knowledge they need in times of calamities.

Lt. Col. Ryan Scott from US Armed Forces said, “We are focused solely in the ENCAPs (Engineering Civic Action Program), the health engagements and the civil affairs, the infrastructure reviews.”

While Commander Col. Medel Aguilar of the Combined Joint Civil Military Operations Task Force said, “That’s why we have this cooperative engagement to transfer knowledge and skills on how we should react during emergency situation.”

The US and Filipino service members will also partner in renovating five school campuses and in conducting community medical services.

The main venue of the exercises this year will be in Panay, Leyte and Eastern Samar.

The Philippines and US are also set to conduct an operational activity and counter terrorism training exercises which will include advanced marksmanship, counter improvised explosive devices, and maritime interdiction against piracy.

The Balikatan exercises will begin on May 8 and will end on May 19. — Deb Riveral | UNTV News & Rescue

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