The annual “Balikatan” exercises is aimed at improving Philippine security, stability, and development. This was emphasized by Philippine Balikatan exercise director Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat during Monday’s opening ceremonies.
“Balikatan 34-2018 is a significant military exercise where the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the US military primarily shared a commitment in moving together to contribute to our country’s security, stability, and development. This is an annual activity particularly aimed at the Philippine-US partnership, cooperation, and commitment to Mutual Defense Treaty,” he added.
He added the annual military training exercises manifest the long-standing relationship between the AFP and US Armed Forces.
“We will extend this commitment to strengthen our alliance and learn from both forces to improve our inter-operability.”
“This year’s focus is to enhance our capability and cooperation for humanitarian assistance and disaster response and counter-terrorism activities,” Salamat pointed out.
In this year’s Balikatan exercises, around 5,000 soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors from the AFP along with 3,000 coming the US Marines, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations Force will be participating in the two-week maneuvers which started May 7 and will end on the 18th.
Around 20 personnel from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and 60 from the Australian Defense Forces will also participate as observers in the above-mentioned exercises. PNA