OVER 2,000 Philippine, US and Japanese troops will be joining the third “Kamandag” exercises at the Subic Bay International Airport on Wednesday.
Capt. Felix Serapio, Philippine Marine spokesman, said on Tuesday the 1,400 soldiers would come from the US; 600 from the Philippines; and 100 from Japan.
Serapio said Japan sent its Ground Self-Defense Force Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade, a marine unit of Tokyo responsible for water operations.
The US Embassy in Manila had said amphibious, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations would be featured in this year’s exercises that would run until October 18.
The Philippine Marine Corps will be testing its recently acquired amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) from South Korea, as well as its artillery assets.
Serapio said this would be the first time that the Philippines would use its own AAV assets.
“[The exercises] will be a building of friendly alliances and developing our cooperation as stakeholders to regional peace and development in our region, especially in Southeast Asia, and we will also be joined by our allies from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force [which will be more focused on] capability enhancement and development with regards to humanitarian response and disaster relief operations,” Serapio told reporters.
Some scenarios for the exercises will be calamities, disasters and situations where amphibious capabilities will be used, Serapio said. DEMPSEY REYES