Photo from WESCOM

This year’s Balikatan Exercises in Palawan concluded with a ceremony held at the headquarters of the 18th Special Forces Company (18th SFC) in Brgy. Punta Baja, Rizal.

The 18th SFC of the Philippine Army (PA), the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Palawan, the US Special Forces, and the 2nd Commando Regiment of Australia all attended the closing ceremony.

According to the Western Command (WESCOM), a 3-day Culmination Exercise (CULEX) from April 24 to April 26 was conducted to assess the participants’ skills in realistic scenarios focused on unconventional warfare (UW).

“The [BK 38-23], which started on April 12, 2023, was aimed at improving the interoperability between the US, Australian, and Philippine Special Operations Forces by imparting and sharing various techniques, tactics, and procedures centered on the conduct of unconventional warfare (UW) that are suitable in WESCOM’s joint operational environment,” WESCOM said.

The exercise involved practical exercises in various areas such as combat marksmanship, medical and casualty evacuation, small unit tactics, maritime operations, and resupply missions in a degraded environment.

Meanwhile, another closing ceremony was held at Joint Task Force Malampaya (JTFM) headquarters in El Nido.

JTFM commander Cpt. Brendo Casaclang expressed his gratitude to the US and Australian counterparts for their contribution to enhancing the skills, responsiveness, readiness, interoperability, and partnership of the Filipino troops.

He said these skills are essential in securing national interests such as the Malampaya Natural Gas-to-Power Project (MNGPP).

The exercises in JTF Malampaya involved the Gas to Oil Platform (GOPLAT) Takedown and Recovery and the Over the Beach (OTB) operations.

The WESCOM highlighted that the conclusion of Balikatan Exercise 38–23 demonstrated the strong partnership between the Philippine, US, and Australian militaries, and their commitment to improving the skills and capabilities of their special operations forces.


Balikatan Exercise 2023, nagtapos na sa Palawan

Ang Balikatan Exercises ng taong ito sa Palawan ay nagtapos sa isang seremonya na ginanap sa headquarters ng 18th Special Forces Company (18th SFC) sa Brgy. Punta Baja, Rizal.

Dumalo sa closing ceremony ang 18th SFC ng Philippine Army (PA), ang Special Operations Group (SOG) ng Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) sa Palawan, ang US Special Forces, at ang 2nd Commando Regiment ng Australia.

Ayon sa Western Command (WESCOM), isang 3-day Culmination Exercise (CULEX) mula Abril 24 hanggang Abril 26 ang isinagawa upang masukat ang kasanayan ng mga kalahok sa mga realistikong senaryo na nakatuon sa unconventional warfare (UW).

“Ang [BK 38-23], na nagsimula noong Abril 12, 2023, ay layong mapabuti ang interoperability sa pagitan ng US, Australian, at Philippine Special Operations Forces sa pamamagitan ng pagtuturo at pagbabahagi ng iba’t ibang mga teknik, taktika, at pamamaraan na nakatuon sa pagpapatupad ng unconventional warfare (UW) na angkop sa joint operational environment ng WESCOM,” pahayag ng WESCOM.

Kabilang sa exercise ang mga practical na gawain sa iba’t ibang larangan tulad ng combat marksmanship, medical and casualty evacuation, small unit tactics, maritime operations, at resupply missions sa isang degraded environment.

Samantala, isa pang closing ceremony ang ginanap sa Joint Task Force Malampaya (JTFM) headquarters sa El Nido.

Nagpahayag ng pasasalamat si JTFM commander Cpt. Brendo Casaclang sa mga US at Australian counterparts sa kanilang kontribusyon sa pagpapabuti ng kasanayan, responsibilidad, kahandaan, interoperability, at partnership ng mga tropang Pilipino.

Ayon sa kanya, ang mga kasanayang ito ay mahalaga sa pagpapanatili ng mga pambansang interes tulad ng Malampaya Natural Gas-to-Power Project (MNGPP).

Kabilang sa mga exercise sa JTFM ang Gas to Oil Platform (GOPLAT) Takedown and Recovery at ang Over the Beach (OTB) operations.

Binigyang-diin ng WESCOM na ang pagtatapos ng Balikatan Exercise 38-23 ay nagpapakita ng malakas na partnership sa pagitan ng Philippine, US, at Australian militaries, at ng kanilang commitment sa pagpapabuti ng kasanayan at kakayahan ng kanilang mga special operations forces.

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