U.S. soldiers from the 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) arrived in the Philippines last month to conduct their first-ever partner training rotation with the Philippine Army, with bilateral training events taking place April to June 2021, in strict adherence to Philippine government COVID-19 safety protocols. Engagements will take place primarily at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

The 5th SFAB and Philippine Army will conduct subject matter expert exchanges across the spectrum of military operations to include communications, logistics, and unit training management.

Through these combined engagements U.S. soldiers will learn and train alongside Philippine partners, sharing best practices and collaborating on areas of mutual interest, laying the groundwork for future exercises between the two nations. 

“We are very excited to train with our Philippine partners,” said Capt. Oleg Sheynfeld, commander of the SFAB team in the Philippines. “Throughout our rotation we will conduct subject matter expert exchanges to increase interoperability between our forces across the spectrum of military operations.”

This team is part of the 5th SFAB’s Force Package 21-1, which began employing U.S. soldiers into the Indo-Pacific in January 2021.

5th SFAB’s training teams are comprised of about 20 highly-skilled, hand-selected soldiers capable of providing advanced training expertise in military specialties like communications, logistics, and medical aid.  Collectively, the 5th SFAB team brings with them more than 100 years of military experience.

The team will partner with various Philippine Army units, including the 1st Brigade Combat Team, the 99th Infantry Battalion, Training and Doctrine Command, Support Command, and the Forward Service Support Unit.

“The Philippine Army and U.S. Army bilateral training aims to enhance the capabilities and interoperability of both forces in conventional, joint and combined operations as it promotes solidarity in the global fight against terror in all its forms,” said Philippine Army Spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala.

U.S. Army Pacific and 5th SFAB are committed to mitigating the spread of COVID-19.  The team is strictly adhering to Philippine government COVID-19 guidelines.

At full capacity, the 5th SFAB operates with 820 professional advisors specially selected, trained, and equipped to advise, support, liaise, and assess with conventional partner security forces from the battalion to corps levels to build capacity in support of regional security.  When called upon, the unit can employ up to 61 advisor teams to integrate with conventional foreign partner security forces.