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 | April 16, 2024

Philippine, U.S. Troops to Kick Off Exercise Balikatan 2024

By Courtesy Story, Exercise Balikatan

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the U.S. military will conduct the 39th iteration of Balikatan, the largest annual bilateral training exercise between the two Allies, from April 22 to May 10. The exercise directly supports the U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty by enhancing military cooperation and readiness between the two militaries.

More than 16,000 members of the AFP and U.S. military will train together this year. Contingents from the Australian Defence Force and, for the first time in Balikatan's history, the French Navy, will also join the exercise as participants. Meanwhile, 14 nations will participate as part of the AFP-hosted international observer program: Brunei, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

During Balikatan 2024, participants will execute a range of complex missions across domains, including maritime security, sensing and targeting, air and missile defense, dynamic missile strikes, cyber defense, and information operations. The Philippine Navy, U.S. Navy, and the French Navy will also conduct a Multilateral Maritime Exercise in the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone.

“This year's Balikatan Exercise underscores our steadfast dedication to amplify interoperability and readiness by collaborating with our friends, partners, and ally,” said AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr. “Together, we speed up our march towards enhancing our military capabilities for maritime security alongside honing other competencies in order to effectively address the dynamic challenges across all nations.”

“Each year, we work closely with AFP senior leaders to make Balikatan more challenging. This year, we’ve increased the scope, scale, and complexity across all domains,” said Lt. Gen. William M. Jurney, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific and the U.S. military officer responsible for designing, planning and conducting the exercise. “We’re building military readiness across the full range of combined and joint operations. It’s our most expansive Balikatan yet.”

Balikatan 2024 is organized into three main components. The command-and-control exercise includes a cyber defense exercise to strengthen bilateral cyber defense capabilities that protect critical military and civilian cyber infrastructure against simulated threats; a staff planning exercise to increase bilateral planning proficiency by developing the plan for next year’s iteration of Balikatan; and the inaugural information warfare exercise where Philippine and U.S. forces engaged in a week-long wargame on April 1 to synchronize information-related capabilities and advance both nations' information operations skills.

The field training exercise features four combined joint all-domain operations. This includes exercises in protecting key terrain in Luzon and Palawan in support of territorial defense; rapidly moving long range, precision strike capabilities and using them in targeting simulated threats; tracking simulated air threats and targeting them with multiple air and missile defense systems; and integrating multilateral air and land platforms to increase awareness of the maritime security situation. Exercise forces will conclude by targeting simulated enemy forces and sinking an “enemy” ship.

Lastly, the AFP and the U.S. civil-military operations task force have been conducting humanitarian civic assistance activities at five locations in the western and northern Philippines since late March, with projects expected to be completed by the end of Balikatan 2024. Together, military personnel are building and improving local infrastructure; sharing lifesaving medical skills; and strengthening military ties with local communities.

“Balikatan” is a Tagalog phrase that means “shoulder-to-shoulder,” describing the spirit of the annual exercise and the close friendship between the Philippines and the United States.

“Balikatan is more than an exercise; it’s a tangible demonstration of our shared commitment to each other. It matters for regional peace, it matters for regional stability,” Lt. Gen. Jurney said. “When we increase our mutual response and defense capabilities, we strengthen our ability to promote regional security and protect our shared interests.”

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Statement from NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson on the U.S.-PRC Talks on AI Risk and Safety
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
May 14, 2024 - Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Technology and National Security Tarun Chhabra and Department of State Acting Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technologies Seth Center will lead an...

U.S. Army provides legal training to Papua New Guinea Defence Force officers
(Left to right) U.S. Army Capt. Matthew Lillard, national security law attorney, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gabriel Bush, deputy staff judge advocate, Andersen AFB, Guam, and Maj. Christopher Niemiec, international operations officer, Defense Institute of International Legal Studies pose for a photo with Papua New Guinea Defence Force officers April 6, 2024, Tumon, Guam, during Defense Institute of International Legal Studies training. The three-day training session covered a wide range of topics crucial to the legal aspects of detainee operations, law of armed conflict, and legal considerations in conflict zones to four PNGDF officers re-introducing aircraft to their air wing. (Courtesy)
May 14, 2024 - A U.S. Army national security law attorney conducted Defense Institute of International Legal Studies training with Papua New Guinea Defence Force officers in an effort to enhance their legal expertise April 4, 2024, in...

CARAT Indonesia Celebrates 75 Years of Diplomatic Relations Between U.S., Indonesia
May 13, 2024 - The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps began Exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2024 with the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) and Marine Corps (KORMAR RI) in Bandar Lampung, Indonesia, May 13...

MV-22B Ospreys touch down in the top end for MRF-D 24.3
U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (Reinforced), Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 24.3, take off for the first flight of the MRF-D 24.3 rotation at Port Darwin, Darwin, NT, Australia, May 11, 2024. The Ospreys were flown from Port Darwin to Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, where they will be hosted for the duration of the rotation. VMM-268 (Rein.) makes up the Aviation Combat Element, out of Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, completing the structure of the MAGTF with the arrival of 10 MV-22B Ospreys. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Colton Martin)
May 13, 2024 - The rumble of U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys echoed across Port Darwin and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin as Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (Reinforced) (VMM-268 (Rein.)) arrived as the Aviation Combat...

51st FW F-16 Fighting Falcons take the lead in Red Flag-Alaska 24-1
A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron lands on a runway at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 8, 2024. The 36th FS aircraft returned from the Red Flag-Alaska 24-1 training event with sustained operational capabilities and improved interoperability with allies. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Kaitlin Frazier)
May 10, 2024 - The 51st Fighter Wing took charge as the lead wing in Red Flag-Alaska 24-1 hosted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, from April 18 - May 3, 2024...