Home : Media : News : News Article View

Balikatan 2017 Comes to Closure with Ceremony

By Staff Sgt. Peter Reft | U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific | May 19, 2017

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



Nimitz Carrier Strike Group Concludes Cooperative Deployment with Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) steams alongside the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, from the
Nov. 25, 2020 - INDIAN OCEAN -- The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, consisting of USS Nimitz (CVN-68),

Thanksgiving Feed-the-Troops Tradition Continues Despite COVID-19
Airmen, Soldiers, veterans and their families gather for the Chaplains Thanksgiving Dinner Nov. 15, 2018 at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. The annual event is held to provide a free holiday meal and build esprit de corps amongst those who have served and are currently serving.
Nov. 25, 2020 - WASHINGTON -- Thanksgiving is going to look a lot different for just about everyone this year thanks

5th Air Force Vice Commander Visits Misawa Air Base
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Leonard J. Kosinski, the 5th Air Force vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Kathleen McCool, 5th AF command chief, prepare to walk into the 14th Fighter Squadron at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 23, 2020. During their two-day visit, Kosinski and McCool received mission briefs from various 35th Fighter Wing units and agencies, had the opportunity to meet and interact with Airmen, and learn about the various roles Team Misawa members play to keep their community safe.
Nov. 25, 2020 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Brig. Gen. Leonard J. Kosinski, the 5th Air Force vice commander, and

C-130J Super Hercules refuels F-22 Raptors Using Aerial Bulk Fuel Delivery System
An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 94th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron completes a hot refuel from a fuel bladder carried by a C-130J Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan, during a Dynamic Force Employment at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Nov. 22, 2020. DFE is an operational platform that allows our forces to be strategically predictable and operationally unpredictable. The U.S. Air Force is postured and ready to respond to crises and contingencies throughout the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, contributing to regional stability and a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Nov. 25, 2020 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --A C-130J Super Hercules conducted a hot-pit refuel of a

Andersen AFB to Host 69th Annual Operation Christmas Drop
Loadmasters with the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, watch as the four 

Low-Cost, Low-Altitude humanitarian assistance bundles they just airdropped parachute down to those in need during Operation Christmas Drop 2019, at Nomwin, Federated States of Micronesia, Dec. 13, 2019. In its 68th year, OCD is the world’s longest running humanitarian assistance airdrop training mission, providing critical supplies to 55 Micronesian islands, impacting approximately 20,000 people across 1.8 million square nautical miles of operating area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Gilmore)
Nov. 25, 2020 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Operation Christmas Drop is a U.S. Pacific Air Forces-sponsored