An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | May 19, 2017

Balikatan 2017 Comes to Closure with Ceremony

By Staff Sgt. Peter Reft U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

QUEZON CITY, Quezon City -- Leaders from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, U.S. military, representatives from Japan Self-Defense Forces and Australian Defence Force, as well as local government officials concluded this year’s Balikatan exercise at Camp Aguinaldo, May 19, 2017.

The ceremony marked the conclusion of two weeks of bilateral U.S.-Philippine military exercises that focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counterterrorism, and other combined military operations.

Leaders came together to speak on behalf of all involved parties to show their appreciation for the teamwork and friendships that made the 33rd Balikatan successful.

“Together, we have just completed a tremendous event that focuses on missions that enhance the combined capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the United States, along with contributing forces from Australia and Japan,” said U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Brian Cavanaugh, deputy commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. “We train together as partners and allies while strengthening our friendship.”

AFP leaders also recognized the strengthening friendship and addressed service members who participated in the events.
“As I toured and visited the various events of the combined Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Special Forces, I saw and felt your passion and enthusiasm to improve your skills as military professionals,” said Armed Forces of the Philippines Lt. Gen. Oscar Lactao, Philippine exercise director.

AFP leaders also expressed how their U.S.-Philippine military history of standing together with common goals tied into Balikatan exercises.
“These challenges have given us opportunities to further strengthen our ties,” said Gen. Eduardo Año, chief of staff, AFP. “Balikatan exercises have been an avenue for us to nurture our bond as well, and they are manifestations of our unity of trust and willingness to come each other’s aid in times of need.”

Año added that he was certain this year’s lessons will enhance interoperability between partners.

Top military leaders expressed how this year’s successful Balikatan exercise further developed their nations’ partnership.

“I cannot be any more pleased with the manner in which our militaries have worked together and once again demonstrated the enduring bonds which exist between us, bonds that have been forged from years of working together shoulder to shoulder,” Canavaugh said.
The Philippine Secretary of Defense concluded the ceremony by explaining the core principal for which Balikatan exercises are held.

“Balikatan is a perfect demonstration of collaboration, proving that nations will be stronger if they work together and that the weight of threats and challenges is made lighter if we shoulder the burden together,” said Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines.

Like Us
Follow Us



NIMCSG, JMSDF Conduct Bilateral Maritime Exercise
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Decatur (DDG 73) and USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) steam behind the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is conducting a bilateral maritime exercise with the JMSDF in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with Allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
March 28, 2023 - PHILIPPINE SEA -- The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (NIMCSG) conducted a bilateral maritime exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), March 23-26.USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), and USS...

7th Fleet Destroyer conducts Freedom of Navigation Operation in South China Sea
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) conducts routine underway operations. Milius is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Greg Johnson)
March 28, 2023 - PARACEL ISLANDS, South China Sea – On March 24 (local time) Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the South China Sea near the Paracel Islands,...

1st MAW and ROK MAG Execute Freedom Shield 2023 at ROK Marine Corps Base Pohang
Marines from the Republic of Korea 1st Marine Division, ROK Marine Aircraft Group, U.S. 1st Marine Division, and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing take a group photo during Freedom Shield 2023 at ROK Marine Corps Base Pohang, South Korea, March 21, 2023. Freedom shield is a defense-oriented exercise designed to strengthen the ROK-U.S. Alliance, enhance our combined defense posture, and strengthen security and stability on the Korean peninsula.
March 28, 2023 - POHANG, South Korea -- The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) concluded its participation in Freedom Shield 23 (FS23) on March 23, 2023. Freedom Shield is a defensive exercise which focuses on building the combined capabilities...

Lightning IIs Arrive at Kadena to Maintain Advanced Fighter Presence
Four U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 354th Fighter Wing at Eilson Air Force Base, Alaska, fly in formation over Kadena Air Base, Japan, March 28, 2023. While deployed to the Keystone of the Pacific, the F-35s will work in conjunction with other fighter units at Kadena to ensure continued steady-state fighter capabilities.
March 28, 2023 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- F-35A Lightning IIs from the 355th Fighter Squadron (FS), Eielson Air Force Base, arrived at Kadena Air Base, Japan, March 28, 2023, to ensure continuous fighter presence through the phased return of...

U.S. Coast Guard Serves Partners in Commonwealth of Northern Marianas
The crew of USCGC Myrtle Hazard (1139) support personnel from Maritime Safety and Security Teams Honolulu and Seattle for a surge operation in the vicinity of Saipan on March 11, 2023. The cutter crew provided weapons, area familiarization, additional boarding team personnel, and small boat support for two weeks. The MSSTs conducted a boating safety operation to ensure compliance with federal and local requirements. They also provided support and a search and rescue stand-by during the 4th Annual Wahoo in the Marianas Derby.
March 28, 2023 - SANTA RITA, Guam -- The crew of USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) returned to Guam on March 20, 2023, following a three-week deployment to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as part of the ongoing Operation...