The head of the United States Joint Task Force praised the level of professionalism and discipline shown by Filipino and American soldiers participating in this year’s Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.
Brig. Gen. John Jansen said the level of training “was inspiring.”
“I was just at Fort Magsaysay a couple of days ago and there’s some really good training going on with Gen. De Leon’s 7th Division soldiers and some US soldiers of the First Striker Brigade Second Division led by Col. Dan Folly and his Aviation Brigade Commander, Lt. Col. Andy Grant,” said Jansen. He was referring to Gen. Angelito de Leon, commander of the 7th Infantry Division.
The exercises involved US and Filipino soldiers “defending” a small town under terrorist attack.
The exercises that started last week focus on humanitarian assistance, disaster response and counter-terrorism operations.
Jansen said the participants showed impressive “soldiering skills.”
“The level of professionalism and discipline out there, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Army soldiers out there, it was a very impressive report… it was very well organized. You can see the young men and women out there connecting and the exchange in information, ideas… (it was) very good training,” Jansen said.
The Balikatan exercises will end on Friday.