Armed Forces conducting sea, air, land joint exercise

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) officially opened the AFP Joint Exercise (AJEX) “DAGIT-PA” on Monday, November 23 at the AFP Education, Training and Doctrine Command (APETDC).

AJEX DAGIT-PA which stands for “Dagat-Langit-Lupa” is a unilateral exercise that aims to further enhance the Joint Force inter-operability and cohesiveness of the AFP across defense mission areas.

“The AFP-wide/AFP-only exercise integrates Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Army and Special Operations Forces to level up our operational effectiveness in sea, air, and land,” said Major General Edgard Arevalo, Commander of AFPETDC and this year’s Exercise Director.

The opening ceremony was virtually attended by AFP Deputy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan who served as keynote speaker, with key officers and personnel participating on-site.

This year’s trainings will be held from 23 November to 04 December 2020 in the areas of Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM), and General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo. It seeks to address current defense and security issues, and harness the capabilities of the Major Services in a joint setting.

More than 1,100 active and reserve AFP Personnel will participate in drills that will focus on Territorial Defense, Internal Security Operations, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE), and Cyber Defense operations.

Major exercises to be held are the Amphibious Operations and Island Defense exercises in San Antonio, Zambales; Combined Arms Live Fire Exercises in Capas, Tarlac; Cyber Defense Exercises in Camp Aguinaldo; and Staff Exercises in NOLCOM Headquarters.

The Philippine Army will be utilizing its armoured vehicles and combat engineering equipment while the Philippine Navy will deploy BRP Jose Rizal FF-150 vessel, other patrol ship, landing dock, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Also participating are the Philippine Air Force’ FA-50 aircraft and the Philippine Marines’ Amphibious Assault Vehicles.

“Our objective is to enhance personnel capacity and capabilities of the joint forces that will enable them to be readily deployable in contingencies concerning maritime security, territorial defense, counter-terrorism, and natural disasters and calamities,” Major General Arevalo said.

The AFP meanwhile assured that all face-to-face activities during AJEX DAGIT-PA will be carried out with strict adherence to health protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19. All participants were also cleared of the virus by authorized medical professionals prior to the start of all activities.

All medical interventions and health protocols in order to mitigate the impact of the virus will be implemented during the conduct of the exercise. Medical services will also be provided to all personnel of the different component forces. Those who will manifest COVID-19 symptoms will be immediately pulled-out from the exercise to be evacuated to the nearest military treatment facility for evaluation. AFP/AJEX Dagit-PA