PHIBLEX 15 concludes, US warships can’t leave PHL

“The exercise was an overwhelming success because we were able to train and integrate with our Philippine partners,” said Col. Romin Dasmalchi, commanding officer of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit of US Navy. This year’s edition of Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 15 concluded Friday, October 10.

“This was another great opportunity for our amphibious forces in 7th Fleet to train side-by-side with the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to better understand our capability to rapidly respond to any potential crisis in the region”, said Rear Adm. Hugh D. Wetherald, Commander of Expeditionary Strike Group.

However, two US Navy warships won’t be able to leave Philippine territories due to an incident linking a US Marine in the killing of a Filipino transgender last Saturday, October 11. The unnamed marine including three other US troops are currently detained in USS Peleliu (LHA-5) a Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship. The three were detained as possible witnesses.

According to report, Commander of the US Pacific Command Admiral Samuel Locklear ordered USS Peleliu and USS Germantown not to leave Philippine waters indefinitely.

US Embassy in Manila is now coordinating with Philippine National Police to help identify suspect.