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The Special Forces Regiment SFR(A) of the Philippine Army and the US Army Special Forces started their month-long bilateral exercise in Palawan to strengthen the capability of the troops deployed in Palawan.

The Assistant Chief of Staff for Education and Training of the Special Forces Regiment SFR(A), Lt. Col. Paulo Baylon, stated that the bilateral exercise in Rizal town will focus on Long Range, Combat Marksmanship, Close Quarter Combat, Small Unit Tactics, Unconventional Warfare, Maritime Operations, and Full Mission Profile or Culmination Exercise.

“For a whole month, our men will train with the US Special Forces. We’ve moved heaven and earth for this exercise to take place in Palawan. We are certain that this will enable us to exchange tactics, techniques, and procedures to enhance interoperability between US and Filipino Special Forces,” Baylon said.

Baylon said that the training will also make the 18th Special Forces (Riverine) Company, which is an independent elite unit of the Philippine Army, stronger.

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He also believed that there would be other upcoming training and exercises with both parties in the future.

“They don’t have a battalion headquarters that will directly support their combat and service support needs. With this training, 18SFC can perform its functions the way it’s designed to be,” Baylon said.

“The 18th Special Forces (Riverine) Company is the participant for this iteration of Balance Piston. With this training that we are about to conduct with our long-standing allies, 18SFway, it’s designed to be a company-sized independent unit that has the ability to gain a decisive advantage over a larger or well-equipped adversary. We may be at peace time, but it’s paramount that we are prepared for pressing security challenges,” SFR(A) commander Col. Ferdinand Napuli also said in a statement.

Balance Piston is a recurring bilateral training between the special operation forces of the two countries which started in early 2000s.


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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.