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NEWS | April 10, 2024

U.S. Army Pacific and Philippine Army Kick Off Salaknib 2024

By Staff Sgt. Brenden Delgado, 25th Infantry Division

In a display of the enduring partnership between the U.S. and Philippine armies, U.S. Army Pacific Soldiers alongside the Philippine Army's 5th and 7th Infantry Divisions gathered to initiate Salaknib 2024 during an opening ceremony at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, Philippines on April 8, 2024.

Salaknib is an annual bilateral exercise led by the Philippine Army and sponsored by the U.S. Army Pacific. It is designed to enhance the U.S. and Philippine Army’s capacity and interoperability across the spectrum of military operations while strengthening the ties between the two long-standing Allies.

The ceremony was presided over by the commanding general of the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Marcus Evans, and the Philippine Army Training and Doctrine Commander, Maj. Gen. Luis Rex D. Bergante.

Soldiers from both nations will participate in field training, live-fire exercises, and subject matter exchanges, and share best practices in multiple key functional areas, including fire support, communications, engineering, counter-improvised explosive devices, and aviation.

“This exercise, which began in 2016, is a cornerstone of the relationship between our armies, reinforcing our shared values and building upon our collective strength toward ensuring a peaceful and stable Indo-Pacific region,” said Evans. “Over the course of this exercise, soldiers from both the United States and the Philippine armies will train side by side to exchange expertise, enhance interoperability, and foster camaraderie while also refining how we operate in the Indo-Pacific and jungle environments.”

New to this year's Salaknib iteration is the incorporation of the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC), marking the U.S. Army's first regional combat training center in the Indo-Pacific region, emphasizing its primary mission of tackling the unique challenges posed by remote, rugged, and austere environments. By introducing the JPMRC-X (exportable) in the Philippines, Salaknib 24 introduces the most extensively equipped JPMRC capability deployed west of the international date line.

“Realistic training empowers our units to learn together,” said Evans. “Through our shared hardships, we enhance our capability to collaborate effectively, working shoulder-to-shoulder to protect Philippine interests and support local populations.”

This year’s Salaknib will also showcase for the first time an instrumented force-on-force Combat Training Center rotation This demonstration underscores the shared commitment of U.S-Philippine military collaboration to modernize the Philippine armed forces, enhance interoperability, and uphold the alliance.

Evans concluded his remarks by sharing his aspirations with all the participants.

“As we commence this training exercise, we will do so with determination, diligence, and a spirit of cooperation to get one percent better every day.”

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