The Western Command (WESCOM) continues to gear up reservists to play a more active role in its operations as around 300 reservists from the different branches of service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) participated in a two-day Mobilization Exercise (MOBEX).

Dubbed Pagpapakilos 2023-01, MOBEX was aimed at strengthening their role in the command’s joint area of operations, particularly in the external security operations in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

WESCOM spokesperson, Commander Ariel Joseph Coloma, said aside from the exercise at the Lawak Gymnasium and the capability demonstration at the parade grounds, the MOBEX 2023-01 included a community outreach program held in Brgy. Bacungan while three reservists also joined an areal maritime patrol in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) aboard Philippine Navy islander NV312.

“We have around 185 physically present and we also have online participants so we have accounted around 300,” Coloma said.

He also explained that while the focus of the exercise is more on the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations, they also want to assess and evaluate the capabilities of the reserve forces in their competency and readiness to be integrated to the regular force.

“So we are maximizing our goals and efforts for all possible learning opportunities for our reservists. So we are really focusing here in this exercise is the integration with our regular forces,” Coloma said.

Naval Forces West (NAVFORWEST) chief Commodore Allan Javier meanwhile said the need for the reservists to be ready is of high importance as they play a critical role in the nation’s defense as they possess a unique set of skills, expertise and experiences.

“In this mobilization exercise, we witnessed an opportunity to evaluate our preparedness, identify areas for improvement and strengthen a bond between active duty forces and reservists. It will showcase the integration of professionalism and teamwork that are crucial in any military operation” Javier said.

He also explained that the exercise capacitated the reservists in accordance with Republic Act 7077 or the Reservist Law of 1991.

The reservists will play a big role in the future, not only in terms of military operations but especially in HADR, now that we are facing El Niño and we are expecting stronger typhoons,” he said.

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