Balance Piston back in Basilan PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 November 2014 13:45

Four days after the Abu Sayyaf ambush that killed six army soldiers, US anti-terrorism experts and Filipino troops began on Wednesday in Basilan a joint exercise called “RP-US Balance Piston 15-1.

A formal opening ceremony of the Balance Piston program was held at a military camp in Isabela City with Capt. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo of the Philippine Navy as guest of honor and speaker.

The counter-terrorism exercise would run for a three weeks alongside humanitarian missions for the benefit of residents of the island-province.

The military exercise will focus on retraining Filipino troops on counter-terrorism under the long-term security program by the US government.

According to Col. Eliglen Villaflor,  commander of the Philippines’ 4th Special Forces Batallion Company, the exercise will run for three weeks. It will focus on the capability of Filipino soldiers on the aspect of maritime operati0n.

The US troops came from Okinawa, Japan

Villaflor is confident that after the exercise, his men can use what they learn in their operations against the Abu Sayyaf in the island province.

Similar exercises were held in Basilan back in 2002 and 2005.

Dozens of US soldiers, including US army Special Forces, provides advices and training to local troops in hunting down Abu Sayyaf militants in the past exercises. US navy engineers also participated and helped build roads and bridges in the province.

Training will also include basic marksmanship, small unit tactics, and combat lifesaving techniques and “medcap” (medical capability), a civic action type of training.