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 | July 10, 2023

Strengthening Alliances: U.S. Marines return to the Philippines for MASA 23

By 1st Lt. Oscar Franquez, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

In a testament to the enduring commitment to strengthening regional partnerships and fostering military cooperation, U.S. Marines (USMC) and Sailors from across I and III Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEF) are arriving in the Philippines to participate in Marine Aviation Support Activity (MASA) 23, scheduled to take place throughout the Philippines from July 6-21. Unique to this exercise, U.S. Command and Control will be executed by I MEF (Forward), commanded by Brig. Gen. Robert Brodie.

“I MEF (Forward) is honored to take part in MASA 23.  Our relationship with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), particularly the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC), continues to flourish with every exercise,” said Brig. Gen. Brodie, Commander of I MEF (Forward).

Another clear demonstration of the steadfast Alliance between the Philippines and the U.S., this exercise highlights the mutual dedication to enhancing aviation-oriented defense capabilities and promoting stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

The MASA exercise provides a dynamic platform for the PMC and their U.S. counterparts to cultivate interoperability, refine operational tactics, and strengthen their ability to execute combined missions effectively. Scheduled training events include live fire exercises, bilateral air assaults, joint forward arming and refueling, and other aviation support operations consistent with the Mutual Defense Treaty and Visiting Forces Agreement.  This rigorous training will augment individual service members' proficiency and elevate the collective operational capabilities of both militaries.

“MASA 23 brings together not only the PMC and USMC but also the United States Air Force and other major services of the AFP,” said Philippine Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Jimmy D. Larida, Philippine Marine Corps, director, Exercise Directorate Headquarters. “This exercise provides a unique opportunity for us to engage in cooperative training, share expertise, and further deepen the bonds of friendship that have been forged over years of joint operations.”

Additionally, the exercise offers an invaluable opportunity for I MEF to rehearse emerging concepts and display the utility of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) as a robust and integrated force, combining ground, air, and logistics elements into a cohesive unit.

“Marines train and fight as a Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and the expeditionary nature of Marine Corps operations allows us the flexibility to design tailored and adaptable forces capable of addressing an array of missions spanning competition to conflict,” Brodie said.

The MAGTF is a versatile and scalable force that can be deployed swiftly and effectively in a variety of situations. It consists of four key components: the command element, the ground combat element, the aviation combat element, and the logistics combat element. By aligning these components, the MAGTF maximizes flexibility and adaptability, a critical advantage in today's complex operational environments.

“During MASA 23, I MEF (Forward) forces will integrate ground, air, and logistics elements with Philippine Forces to share and develop unified approaches to complex security challenges. We are eager to learn from our Philippine Allies, strengthen relationships, and foster regional stability,” Brodie said.

By engaging in collaborative exercises like MASA 23 and building upon years of military alliance, the U.S. and the Philippines send a resounding message of unity and readiness to face security challenges and advance the shared vision of a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

“To all the participants, both from the PMC and the USMC, I urge you to make the most of this opportunity. Engage, learn, and build lasting relationships with your counterparts. Take advantage of the expertise and knowledge shared during the training. Together, we will enhance our capabilities, improve our readiness, and strengthen the ties that bind our two great nations,” Larida said.


Like Us
Follow Us



Readout of Assistant Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner's Meeting with Papua New Guinea's Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso
March 6, 2024 - Department of Defense Spokesman LTC Marty Meiners provided the following readout...

USAF F-35s integrate with Singapore forces
A Republic of Singapore Air Force F-15SG and U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II participate in bilateral training over Singapore, March 4, 2024. The bilateral training encompassed the USAF F-35 and RSAF F-15 and F-16 aircraft flying together to improve interoperability and cohesion amongst the partner services. Partnership activities enhance trust and increase global stability, security and prosperity while upholding international law and promoting shared values. (Republic of Singapore Air Force photo by CPL Timothy Khor)
March 6, 2024 - U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs participated in bilateral training with Republic of Singapore Air Force at Paya Lebar Air Base, Singapore for the first time March 4 – 7...

7th Fleet Destroyer transits Taiwan Strait
TAIWAN STRAIT (March 5, 2024) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) conducts routine operations during a Taiwan Strait transit, March 5. John Finn is forward-deployed and assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Stack)
March 5, 2024 - The Arleigh-Burke guided missile class destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) conducted a routine south-to-north Taiwan Strait transit on March 5, 2024...

U.S. Coast Guard conduct combined patrol with Marshallese partners under Operation Blue Pacific
The USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) crew take a moment for a photo with members of the Sea Patrol on Feb. 22, 2024, in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Underway in support of Operation Blue Pacific, the cutter crew showcased the effectiveness of the U.S. and RMI maritime bilateral agreement, conducting a shared patrol with shipriders emphasizing collaborative efforts in maritime safety, security, and stewardship in terms of resource protection. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
March 5, 2024 - Following efforts with Kiribati partners, the USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) crew recently concluded the next leg of their expeditionary patrol from Feb. 20 to 27, 2024, spending time in Majuro, Wotje Atoll, and the Exclusive...

U.S. Air Force strengthens ties, bolster tactical airlift interoperability in exercise with Bangladesh Air Force
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Krista McGraw, 18th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of mission scheduling, showcases a medical supply kit to Bangladesh Air Force medics during an AE demonstration in support of Cope South 2024, Feb. 27, 2024, near BAF Bangabandhu Cantonment, Bangladesh. CS24, a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored bilateral tactical airlift exercise, provides airlift training for U.S. and Bangladeshi aircrews in aircraft generation and recovery, low-level navigation, tactical airdrop, and air-land missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tristan Truesdell)
March 5, 2024 - Nearly 80 U.S. Air Force service members and two C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 36th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron (EAS) integrated with Bangladesh for the bilateral tactical airlift exercise, Cope South 2024 (CS24)...