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 | May 7, 2024

Philippine, US forces demonstrate flexibility, operational reach in simultaneous missions during Balikatan

By Courtesy Story, Exercise Balikatan

Philippine and U.S. military forces participating in Balikatan 24 concluded the second iteration of maritime key terrain security operations today, exercising their collective ability to secure several islands in the Batanes Island group approximately 1,000 miles north of where combined forces conducted similar operations in Palawan last week.

Simultaneously, elements of the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force and their counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines conducted a second rapid infiltration (HIRAIN) operation into Northern Luzon.

These combined, joint all-domain operations brought together and integrated more than a dozen units to secure and protect the Philippines’ maritime terrain, territorial waters, and national sovereignty across the archipelago.

“In Northern Luzon, a rifle company of U.S. Marines with 3rd Littoral Combat Team (3d LCT) partnered with Philippine Marines from 4th Marine Brigade to secure key maritime terrain in a scenario designed to preserve Philippine territorial integrity in support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Archipelagic Coastal Defense Concept,” said U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Mark Lenzi, battalion commander of 3d LCT, 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment. “During this exercise, 3d LCT conducted expeditionary advanced base operations, supported maritime domain awareness, and conducted reconnaissance and counter reconnaissance to demonstrate stand-in force capabilities to the combined and joint force.”

The northern Batanes islands of Mavulis, Itbayat, and Batan were the primary training sites for the combined maritime key terrain security operations, while the Lal-lo airfield and Port of Irene in the province of Cayagan served as the training sites for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) HIRAIN operations.

During the HIRAIN operations, combined forces rapidly positioned and repositioned HIMARS weapons systems at designated locations across the province and simulated (non-live fire) strike operations against notional threats. This training increases bilateral interoperability in complex littoral and coastal defense operations.

“The HIRAIN exercise showcased the strength of our partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, demonstrating the versatility and interoperability of our military capabilities,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Benjamin Blan, commander of 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Multi-Domain Task Force.

The first iteration of the combined and joint all-domain training commenced on April 24 in Palawan at the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement sites located on Antonio Bautista Air Base and Balabac Island. Training activities included expeditionary mine hunting, sonar hydrographic surveys, reconnaissance drills, amphibious landings, and air assault drills to secure key maritime terrain and establish expeditionary advanced bases and forward arming and refueling points; and HIRAIN operations to rapidly transport, insert, and assume firing positions to project combat power within the area via a HIMARS live-fire event.

All these operations together facilitate the all-domain, multi-modal maneuver required to operate in a rapidly evolving security environment.

Units supporting the maritime key terrain security operations and HIRAIN included: the Philippine Marine Corps’ 4th Marine Brigade; the U.S. Army 1st Multi-Domain Task Force; the U.S. Marine Corps’ 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment; and the U.S. Air Force’s 317th Airlift Wing and 353rd Special Operations Wing.




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...