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NEWS | May 6, 2024

Philippine, US forces conduct counter-landing exercise

By Courtesy Story, Exercise Balikatan

Combined forces from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and U.S. military rehearsed defending the coastline today during a Balikatan counter-landing live-fire exercise.

Converging fires onto floating targets off the coast and mock-enemy targets along the beach, Marines and Soldiers from both nations improved their ability to defend Philippine interests within their territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.

“I continue to be impressed by the skill, dedication and interoperability of the U.S. and AFP – all of which was on full display during today’s training,” said U.S. Marine Lt. Gen. Michael Cederholm, commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force. “Balikatan is designed to prepare us both to defend Philippine sovereignty. If anyone has any question about whether we’re ready, we answered that today. We’re ready. And we always will be.”

The combined-arms range included multiple shots from the FGM-148 Javelin missile and M3A1 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System, or MAAWS, small arms and machine gun fire from dug-in and maneuvering forces, and artillery fire from the Philippine Marine Corps, Philippine Army, and U.S. Army.

“The successful execution of this exercise underscores the strengthened cooperation between the Philippines and the United States in defending our shores. With every iteration, we continuously leverage the valuable insights and expertise gained to ensure regional security and stability,” said Maj. Gen. Marvin Licudine, Philippine exercise director.

Participating units included: the Philippine Army’s 502nd Brigade; the Philippine Marine Corps’ 4th Marine Brigade; the U.S. Army 3-7 Field Artillery; and the U.S. Marine Corps’ 3rd Littoral Combat Team.