The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) successfully completed an airlift operation exercise in San Antonio, Zambales on Monday, November 30 as part of the ongoing AFP Joint Exercise DAGIT-PA.
During the exercise, the Philippine Navy’s Naval Helicopter 432 showcased its Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP) capability that utilized the cargo hook suspension system. The drill was carried out on the naval vessel LD601 or BRP Tarlac which was stationed at 1.3 nautical miles west of Capones Grande. This was part of the amphibious operations that are underscored in the 4th iteration of the AFP-wide drills.
The VETREP capability is vital in operations when ground and water transport for armed units is seemingly impossible. This can be employed for ship-to-ship reprovision and replenishment of units especially those stationed in the West Philippine Sea. It is most needed in situations and in mission areas when the transfer of cargo and other provisions and logistical requirements is more practical than landing a helicopter on deck.
The drills also featured LD601’s Flight Deck Operation with the Navy’s Augusta Westland AW109 helicopters to enhance the skills and capability of its personnel. Also completed was the Well Deck Operation of LD602 or BRP Davao Del Sur for the embarkation of Assault Amphibious Vehicles of the Philippine Marine Corps. The Amphibious Forces also completed its final meeting of units to synchronize efforts in preparation for the Amphibious Assault Operation on December 1.
“The December 1 schedule of events for AJEX DAGIT-PA is the highlight of this year’s iteration of the exercise. It will test some of the AFP’s capabilities and competencies in amphibious operations given the sea, air, and land assets made available. Territorial defense capability will also be tested on the same day involving a different set of participants. The learning outcome will impact on the existing doctrines and those that are being developed. While we continue to modernize, our techniques, tactics and procedures (TTPs) we likewise ensure that our doctrines are continuously updated and developed,” said Major General Edgard A. Arevalo, the Exercise Director.
The activities are part of AJEX DAGIT-PA’s Joint Interoperability Exercise which seeks to enhance the AFP’s proficiency in sea to land operations. It demonstrates the military’s ability to seize a littoral objective in a scenario of an island defense deploying land, sea, and air assets.
The AJEX DAGIT-PA was launched on November 23 to further enhance the Joint Force inter-operability and cohesiveness of the AFP across defense mission areas. This is aimed at elevating the military’s operational effectiveness in contingencies concerning maritime security, territorial defense, counter-terrorism, and natural disasters and calamities.
“This manifests the AFP’s commitment to strive towards a world class armed forces which is source of national pride. By further elevating our readiness, we are confident that we will serve the best interest of the Filipino people. We will match our readiness and capability with the ever-changing in-country security environment and in the region,” Major General Arevalo said. AFP/DAGIT-PA