MANILA, U.S. Embassy in the Philippines -- The annual Philippine Army-led, U.S. Army Pacific-sponsored bilateral exercise Salaknib 2022 held its opening ceremony at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.
The exercise is designed to enhance U.S. and Philippine Army capacity and interoperability across the spectrum of military operations, while also strengthening the ties between the two longstanding partner nations.
U.S. Army Pacific Deputy Commanding General Maj. Gen. Matthew W. McFarlane and Philippine Army Exercise Director Brig. Gen. Alvin B. Flores presided over the ceremony.
“The United States just published an Indo-Pacific strategy. Two key aspects of that strategy are to build connections in the region and to bolster security in pursuit of a free and open Indo-Pacific. This exercise is a demonstration not only to each other, but to all those around the world with inclinations of not abiding by a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Maj. Gen. McFarlane.
Nearly 1,100 U.S. Army Pacific soldiers will participate in this year’s Salaknib, consisting of multiple field training exercises, staff exercises, subject matter expert exchanges, amphibious landing training, medical training, and the first accredited U.S. Jungle Operations Training Course in the Philippines.
In compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols, 100 percent of the deployed U.S. Army Pacific soldiers are vaccinated and will observe guidelines that are aimed at protecting not just U.S. and allied forces but also the local population.
The exercise will employ the Army Prepositioned Stock 3, which brought vehicles and supplies to Subic Bay via U.S. Navy Ship Red Cloud, demonstrating the U.S. Army Pacific’s ability to deploy and sustain the force across the Indo-Pacific.