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NEWS | June 17, 2024

U.S.-Philippine littoral live-fire training success

By 1st Lt. John Fischer I Marine Expeditionary Force

On June 15, 2024, elements of the Philippine and U.S. armed forces conducted a live-fire event for Marine Aviation Support Activity (MASA) 24. MASA is an annual Philippine-U.S. military exercise taking place in the Philippines from June 3-21, 2024, focusing on mutual defense, strengthening relationships, and rehearsing emerging aviation concepts.

The U.S. military and Armed Forces of the Philippines conducted a two part, live-fire event off the coast of Camp Bojeador and in waters to the west of Naval Education, Training and Doctrine Command (NETDC), Philippines. The LLFX showcased the integrated command and control capabilities of U.S. and Philippine armed forces in a territorial defense scenario featuring bilateral surface and maritime strikes.

To the north, the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) used ground-based artillery to engage staged maritime targets, made of wood and concrete, in waters four nautical miles due west of Camp Bojeador. U.S. Marines at Camp Bojeador provided bilateral fires coordination support to PMC forces as they engaged the targets to increase bilateral coordination and proficiency among U.S.-Philippine forces.

To the south, four U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightening II aircraft, operating out of Clark Air Base and supported by elements of U.S.-Philippine forces, conducted controlled aviation strikes on staged maritime targets, made of wood and concrete, in waters three nautical miles westward of NETDC, Philippines. Philippine military personnel provided additional coordination and support for the aircraft and targeting to increase the effectiveness of bilateral aircraft operations and fire support.

Philippine unmanned aerial systems (UAS) supported both live-fire events to increase maritime domain awareness capabilities and to ensure the safe execution of the training events.

Military planners from both the U.S. and Philippines coordinated these live-fire training events with the proper governmental authorities. Philippine Navy and Coast Guard vessels as well as air traffic control authorities cleared and blocked the areas utilized for training to ensure no other boats, vessels, or aircraft were in the impact area. The areas utilized for the littoral live-fire events were within Philippine territorial waters and stringent safety precautions were taken to ensure safe and responsible training execution.