United States Armed Forces will be deploying 76 military aircraft for the upcoming 31st series of Balikatan Exercise (Shoulder to Shoulder) which will start on April 20, Armed Forces of the Philippine-Public Affairs Office chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said. The Philippines will deploy 15 planes and helicopters for the said ten-day exercise.
“Our Armed Forces and the US Armed Forces are coming together for this mutual defense and disaster response exercises towards a more responsive partnership to the community focusing on development and community service,” Lt. Col. Cabunoc said.
6,656 American soldiers, 5,023 Filipino soldiers and 61 Australian soldiers will participate. 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.