During the 34th iteration of the annual training event of Balikatan, the US and Philippines armed forces are exchanging and demonstrating best practices and procedures in an effort to enhance strong partnerships between the two nations.
Balikatan 2018 is scheduled to take place during May 7-18 at various locations across the Philippines. Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counterterrorism and mutual defense are some of the missions to be focused during the exercise.
This year’s exercise also focuses on interoperability training events designed to enhance the combined capabilities of both the Philippine and US armed forces as the Filipino term Balikatan itself means “shoulder to shoulder” or “sharing the load together”.
Both nations will participate in multiple subject matter expert exchanges, where the experts in each area give their best practices to their counterpart, enhancing their capabilities.
With Balikatan 2018 both nations will benefit from the increased cooperation and understanding during real-world missions. The process allows soldiers to learn and teach in areas that they are responsible for, including base security, aerodrome operations and other base services.
Both militaries participate with the intent of learning from each other, building a certain level of trust and making critical connections that are inherent to such exercises.
The exercise is scheduled to incorporate multiple SMEE individuals, including command and control, flight operations, pararescue procedures, combatives and a simulated mass casualty response.
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