Filipino, American soldiers start Aviation Assault Support Exercise

Units of the American 1st Marine Air Wing, 3rd Marine Division and the Philippine Marine Corps Battalion Landing Team 1 kicked-off this year’s second iteration of Aviation Assault Support Exercise (AASE) 15.2 Monday. AASE is a three-week exercise designed to expand and promote cooperative training opportunities with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to enhance core skill proficiency and to increase operational readiness in ground and air operations.

The exercise is currently on its third year, each year containing two iterations. Participating parties include US Marine Corps, Philippine Air Force and Philippine Marine Corps. AASE 15.1 was conducted in January 2015.

“It gives our guys a unique training environments that they are not use to, as well as an opportunity to learn from our Philippine counterparts,” US Air Force operation officer, Joint US Military Assistance Group Lt. Col. Teodoro Apalisok, said. “We learn from them and they learn from us.”

The arrival of US Marines and aircraft at Clark Air Base set the stage for a variety of upcoming bilateral engagements to include fast-rope repelling, casualty evacuation drills, day and night platoon size raids and integrated fires training.

Unique to this year will be the “unitization” of new U aircraft. “Traditionally we have only used the MV-22 in this exercise to conduct many of the engagements,” Apalisok said. “However, this year we will be implementing the CH-53 and the UH-1Y helicopters.”

AASE 15.2 will take place at Basa Air Base, Clark Air Base, both in Pampanga and Crow Valley Range in Tarlac.