FORT MAGSAYSAY, Philippines -- U.S. Army Pacific Soldiers and Philippine Army 1st Brigade Combat Team Soldiers concluded the annual iteration of Salaknib during a closing ceremony at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, March 24, 2022.
Salaknib is an annual Philippine Army led, U.S. Army Pacific sponsored bilateral exercise designed to enhance the strategic readiness capabilities of both nations by strengthening mission readiness and interoperability.
Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr. served as the guest of honor and thanked and acknowledged the soldiers for their hard work and dedication in upholding the mission.
“The Philippine Army and the United States Army Pacific have remained united through the long-standing bilateral relations in pursuit of a common goal of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” said Brawner. “Our shared vision is once again manifested through the conduct of this year’s exercise between our forces.”
Since the exercise commenced on March 5, approximately 2,200 U.S. and Philippine Army Soldiers executed a host of notable achievements including, High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System live fire, team to company level live fire exercises, engineering projects, artillery and fire support missions, and over 20 subject matter expert exchanges.
Salaknib 2022 also included the first ever U.S. validated Jungle Operations Training Course, taught by the 25th Infantry Division Lightning Academy, that saw 79 graduates from both 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the Philippine Army 1st Brigade Combat Team.
Throughout all training events the purpose of the mission was evident, as described by Maj. Gen Joseph Ryan, commander of the 25th Infantry Division.
“Most importantly, we built readiness and committed ourselves to this enduring treaty-bound partnership that guarantees when it comes to peace or war, that the United States stands with the Army of the Philippines side by side, ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Ryan. “No one, anywhere, should doubt that commitment. It is ironclad.”
U.S. Army units included soldiers from 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 17th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Division Support Brigade, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, 5th Security Forces Assistance Brigade, 130th Engineer Brigade, 201st Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade, 303rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 836th Transportation Battalion, the 402nd Army Field Support Battalion, 413th Contracting Support Brigade, and U.S. Army Pacific elements.
Ryan reiterated the importance of Salaknib in his final remarks.
“We value this partnership with our Philippine partners and we will continue investing in it because our mutual success between the United States and the Philippines depends on it,” said Ryan.
Planning for Salaknib 2023 is already underway.