Balikatan returns PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 March 2012 14:10

Members of the Armed Forces from U.S. Pacific Command will participate in the Balikatan combined military exercise with the Armed Forces of the Philippines from April 16-27, 2012.

Balikatan, meaning “shoulder-to-shoulder” in tagalog, is a regularly scheduled multiservice combined exercise hosted annually by the Republic of the Philippines.  Balikatan 2012 is the 28th iteration in a continuing series of exercises designed to promote regional peace and security by ensuring
interoperability and readiness of Philippine and U.S. forces.

U.S. Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. said, “I’m delighted to announce the United States’ participation in the 28th exercise of Balikatan.  The longevity of this bilateral exercise speaks to the health of our alliance as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder next to our Philippine allies.  This exercise will build meaningful relationships not only between our militaries, but also among communities and first responders.”

Training will consist of a computer-simulated command post exercise (CPX), multiple field training exercises (FTX), and medical, veterinary, and engineering humanitarian and civic assistance (HCA) projects.

Approximately 4,500 U.S. personnel and 2,300 Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel from all services are planned to participate in the exercise.  This year’s exercise is unique in that it is the first time that Balikatan will include multilateral engagement: an additional 20 participants from ASEAN and 15 colleagues from partner nations plan to contribute to the CPX.  In addition 385 local health professionals will support the HCA activities.

“As our military forces train together, our civil and military leadership will practice planning and decision making during a natural disaster scenario.  “I’m especially proud that U.S. and Philippine engineers and medical professionals will improve infrastructure, treat patients, and vaccinate livestock and pets against disease” said Thomas.