11,740 Strong men from PHL, US, Aurstalian military forces to come together for war games

This year’s Balikatan Exercise will commence on April 20 and will end on April 30. Opening ceremony will be held at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City, while the closing ceremony will be held at Clark Air Base in Pampanga. 6,656 American soldiers, 5,023 Filipino soldiers and 61 Australian soldiers will participate in the 31st series of Balikatan.

There will be three major events namely Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA), Command Post Exercise (CPX) and Field Training Exercises (FTX). Palawan-based Western Command commander Vice Admiral Aexander S Lopez will be this year’s exercise director.

Humanitarian Civic Assistance will be conducted in selected areas within Western Command in Palawan and Central Command in Panay Island. HCA aims to enhance civil-military cooperation within US, Philippine and Australian military forces.

The Command Post Exercise will focus on Marine Security (MARSEC) with Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise (CALFEX) to demonstrate the capability of the AFP National Maneuver Force. Selected US and ADF staff members will form a Joint Liaison Group (JLG) to support the capability development at each staff.

While the Field Training Exercises will be held at Crow Valley Gunnery Range in Tarlac, Basa Air Base and Clark Air Base both in Pampanga, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, Marine Base Gregorio Lim and Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Cavite and Naval Station Leovigildo Gantiouqui in Zambales.

FTE will be joined by armies, navies, marines, special operations forces, air forces of Philippines and United States.