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 | Feb. 6, 2019

US, Philippine Air Force Concludes Bilateral Air Contingency Exchange

By Staff Sgt. Anthony Small Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

CESAR BASA AIR BASE, Philippines -- U.S. and Philippine air forces airmen marked the successful completion of 12 days of bilateral training and increased mutual cooperation during the seventh iteration of Bilateral Air Contingent Exchange-Philippines (BACE-P) here, Feb. 1, 2019.

The first iteration of BACE-P was conducted April 16, 2016 by the Pacific Air Forces at the direction of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. This year's iteration of BACE-P was unique for its incorporation of fighter aircraft at Basa Air Base, in particular U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons.

“Having the F-16 fighter [at Basa] allowed us to interact with our (Philippine air force) partners along with their FA-50s and in turn helped to strengthen our interoperability and training with a key partner,” said Col. Christopher Faurot, BACE-P 13th Expeditionary Air Squadron commander.

“Through this engagement, our bilateral forces increased their interoperability and our partners demonstrated that they are a disciplined, professional and highly motivated force,” he added.

In addition to interfly training between the U.S. Air Force F-16s and the PAF FA-50s, Airmen conducted subject matter expert exchanges on topics to include crash recovery, communications, flightline, and maintenance back-shop operations, concluding with a large force exercise on the last day.

“It’s been terrific,” said Lt Col. Tom Kanewske, 121st Fighter Squadron pilot. “As part of the bilateral engagement we’ve really focused on the sharing of best practices, so whether it’s our air-to-air and air-to-ground training with them as pilots or also reaching out to their ground forces -- their forward air controllers -- to that cross-sharing of information across survival specialists or maintainers, that level of engagement is something we don’t normally get in the international bilateral format, so it’s really been wonderful.”

These exchanges consistently promote interoperability, build upon the foundation of a strong U.S.-Philippines’ alliance, and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.

“Bilateral engagement really matters,” said Kanewske. “We have seen a great degree of coalescing around joint tactics so the ability to see that improvement over a two-week time period provides us all the more momentum we need to keep these engagements on schedule and continue to show that overall joint improvement.”

Likewise, Maj Mario Mendazo, a PAF FA-50 pilot with the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron, expressed his appreciation for the bilateral exchange.

“The U.S. Air Force [shared with] us a lot of [knowledge] throughout this exercise that we can really apply in the near future,” said Mendazo. “During our exchange, I learned a lot when it comes to fighter operations, specifically air-to-air and air-to-ground. Air-to-air-like intercepts of different kinds of targets, threats airborne, and … threats on the ground specifically dealing with close air support missions."

A long-standing bilateral reoccurring exchange, the engagement focused on enhancing mutual cooperation and building on existing capabilities. Moreover, the relationships fostered through this exchange were also a key component to a successful partnership.

“The future holds bright for the United States and the Philippines’ partnership when it comes to making our respective militaries stronger and being able to work together towards future missions,” said Mendazo. “I see a stronger alliance in the future and brighter days ahead for the two countries.”

Kanewske echoed his sentiment regarding the importance of continuing to foster and develop the USAF-PAF partnership.

“I think it’s a necessity that we continue growing our partnership,” said Kanewske. “These degrees of engagements will only further our combined strategic objectives and we see the Philippine Air Force and the [Armed Forces of the] Philippines in general as a major contributor to the overall regional stability in the Pacific.”

Like Us
Follow Us



U.S. Strengthening Deterrence in Taiwan Strait
The destroyer USS Chung-Hoon observes the Chinese navy destroyer Luyang III executing unsafe maneuvers as the U.S. ship was conducting a routine, south-to-north Taiwan Strait transit alongside the Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal, June 3, 2023.
Sept. 21, 2023 - The Defense Department is working with other government agencies, allies and friends to strengthen deterrence across the Taiwan Strait to ensure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, Ely Ratner told the House Armed...

Koa Moana Marines Host Puma Training for Palau Maritime Law Enforcement
U.S. Marines with Task Force Koa Moana 23 and Palauan Maritime Law Enforcement Officers pose for a photograph at the conclusion of the Task Force Koa Moana RQ-20B Puma Training Course graduation at the Palau Joint Operations Center, Bureau of Maritime Security and Fish & Wildlife Protection, Koror, Palau, Sept. 14, 2023. Task Force Koa Moana 23, composed of U.S. Marines and Sailors from I Marine Expeditionary Force, deployed to the Indo-Pacific to strengthen relationships with Pacific Island partners through bilateral and multilateral security cooperation and community engagements. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Courtney G. White)
Sept. 21, 2023 - U.S. Marines with Task Force Koa Moana 23 concluded the Task Force Koa Moana RQ-20B Puma Training Course with a graduation ceremony at the Palau Joint Operations Center, Bureau of Maritime Security and Fish & Wildlife...

U.S.-India Relationship Critical to Free, Open Indo-Pacific
U.S. Marines from the 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion, 1st Marines, celebrate the end of a live fire exercise with Indian Army soldiers during exercise Bright Star 2023 in Egypt, Sept. 10, 2023.
Sept. 20, 2023 - A shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific bolsters the U.S.-India relationship as the two countries continue to strengthen defense ties, a senior Pentagon official said...

Innovating Logistics in the Pacific the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade Supports Talisman Sabre 23
The 8th Theater Sustainment Command Commander Maj. Gen. Jered Helwig, highlights key points of the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore operation to the Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth and other senior leaders during Talisman Sabre 2023 in Bowen, Australia, July 31, 2023. JLOTS demonstrates the critical capability of bringing vehicles and equipment to the shore in austere environments or when port facilities are unavailable. Talisman Sabre is the largest bilateral military exercise between Australia and the United States, with multinational participation, advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific by strengthening relationships and interoperability among key allies and enhancing our collective capabilities to respond to a wide array of potential security concerns.
Sept. 20, 2023 - The 402nd Army Field Support Brigade (AFSB) deployed in support of the 8th Theater Support Command and Talisman Sabre 23 (TS23) in Australia from June 19 through August 4...

US Army sustainers provide sealift to Australian armor for Super Garuda Shield
Australian Army M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks and vehicles are unloaded from the United States Army Vessel SSGT Robert T. Kuroda at Tanjung Perak Port in Indonesia during Exercise Super Garuda Shield 2023. At the invitation of Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), Australia is contributing over 125 personnel from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to Exercise Super Garuda Shield 2023 (SGS23). SGS23 is an TNI and United States Indo Pacific Command led bilateral training activity. It is focused on joint operations with international partners in and around East Java in Indonesia from 31 August to 13 September. Held since 2009, the ADF first participated in 2022, and in 2023 is contributing an Australian Army force element including a Troop of M1A1 Abrams tanks from the 1st Armoured Regiment. The contingent also includes an Infantry Platoon from the 10th/27th Battalion, Royal South Australian Regiment, command and control elements, and a range of armoured vehicles, trucks and recovery vehicles. (Photo by Australian Defence Force Cpl. Dustin Anderson)
Sept. 19, 2023 - With Logistics Support Vessel 7 SSGT Robert Kuroda already in Australia for Talisman Sabre 2023, the conditions were set to transport Australian Defence Force tanks and equipment to Indonesia for Super Garuda Shield...