US, Philippine militaries holding joint exercise April 12 to 23

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and United States military will be holding Exercise Balikatan 2021 from April 12 to 23. According to AFP Chief-of-Staff General Cirilito Sobejana, Balikatan 2021 will be participated by 700 American troops and 1,000 Filipino troops.

“There will be physical contact but it is minimal,” General Sobejana said as quoted by ABS-CBN News.

“Balikatan is an annual U.S.-Philippine military training event focused on a variety of missions, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counter terrorism, and other combined military operations,” the US military said.

According to US military, during Balikatan 2021 Philippine and US service members will conduct humanitarian civic action (HCA) activities throughout Luzon.

“The exercise will also demonstrate cooperation and interoperability between the Philippines and the US, consistent with the Mutual Defense Treaty and Visiting Forces Agreement,” it added. “This event highlights the two militaries continued commitment to train and share information to improve their ability to coordinate a multilateral response to crisis,”