"Balikatan" Military Exercises 2016 News

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  1. Cossack25A1

    Cossack25A1 1st Lieutenant

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    US sending Rocket Launcher to Philippines
    March 21, 2016 PNA

    For the first time in “Balikatan’ history, the US military will be deploying its HIMARS mobile artillery platform for the live-fire phase of the exercise.

    HIMARS stands for “M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System”. It is US light multiple rocket launcher mounted on a standard Army medium tactical vehicle truck frame.

    This was confirmed by Capt. Celeste Frank Sayson, “Balikatan 2016” spokesperson, said HIMARS will be deployed during the scheduled live-fire exercise in Crow Valley, Tarlac.

    HIMARS will demonstrate to Filipino troops its capability to engage ground, air, and sea targets. It has maximum range of 300 kilometers.

    US field testing of the platform began in 1998 and actual deployment in 2005.

    More -> http://www.update.ph/2016/03/us-sending-rocket-launcher-to-philippines/3412
     
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  2. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Around 55 American tactical aircraft will be participating in this year’s ‘Balikatan’ exercises.

    This was disclosed by Capt. Celeste Frank Sayson, “Balikatan 2016” spokesperson, in an interview Monday.

    American planes expected to participate in the aerial phase of “Balikatan” include the tilt-rotor MV-22 “Osprey” and Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” cargo planes and Fairchild Republic A-10 “Thunderbolt” ground attack aircraft.

    http://www.update.ph/2016/03/55-american-tactical-aircraft-to-participate-in-balikatan-2016/3417

    MV-22 Osprey:

    MV-22_conducts_external_lift_from_USNS_Sacagawea.jpg

    C-130 Hercules

    c-130-hercules-flares.jpg

    A-10

    hagaaeebdrvmx8or74ou.jpg


    mfc-himars-photo-02-h.jpg

    slide_17.jpg

    first-himars-battery-operational_5029164c82be3_w1500.jpg
     
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  3. Cossack25A1

    Cossack25A1 1st Lieutenant

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    Japan seeks to join Balikatan exercises regularly: Pentagon
    03/30/2016 12:54 PM
    Kyodo News


    WASHINGTON - A senior official of the U.S. Defense Department said Tuesday that Japan is in talks with the Philippines about participating in joint drills with the United States on a regular basis.

    Amy Searight, deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia, was referring to the Balikatan joint exercises the U.S. and Philippine militaries conduct near the South China Sea, where the latter is involved in territorial disputes with China.

    "Japan is talking to the Philippines about a Status of Forces Agreement, so that Japan can regularly participate in those kinds of exercises," Searight told a think tank event in Washington.

    The envisioned agreement would govern the operations of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces in the Philippines.

    "Japan is participating (in the Balikatan drill) as an observer. Japan very much wants to participate more," she said.

    More -> http://newsmobile.abs-cbn.com/natio...-join-balikatan-exercises-regularly-pentagon/
     
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  4. Cossack25A1

    Cossack25A1 1st Lieutenant

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    Balikatan 2016 kicks off amid heightened sea row
    By: Frances Mangosing

    @FMangosingINQ

    INQUIRER.net

    05:32 PM April 4th, 2016



    ABOUT 9,000 combined American and Filipino troops started the annual bilateral exercises on Monday aimed not only for territorial defense amid sea disputes but also to address other capabilities.

    “It’s not focused on a particular incident but rather capacitating our armed forces to deal with a whole lot of exigencies,” said Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez, Western Command chief and exercise director for the Philippine side of the Balikatan 2016, in a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo on Monday.

    The annual drills from April 4 to 15 at various military camps take place amid China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea, but officials have repeatedly said the exercises have nothing to do with the sea dispute.


    “We’re trying to come up with a capability, or capacitate our troops so that we can really move forward…The Philippines is the least capable armed forces in the region and the US being a big brother is a big help to it,” Lopez said.

    -----

    Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/13...ng-range-multiple-rocket-system#ixzz44rt4mB2X



    Balikatan 2016 a test of Philippines' new military assets
    (philstar.com)
    Updated April 3, 2016 - 6:12pm


    MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines’ new military assets will be put to the test in this year’s Balikatan joint exercises with the United States, which will kick off on Monday.

    Among the new assets that will participate in the joint drills are the landing craft provided to the Philippine Navy by Australia. The Philippines acquired five decommissioned ships from Australia for P726 million. The first two ships arrived last August while the three others were delivered last month.

    Cpt. Celeste Frank Sayson, spokesman of the Philippine contingent to Balikatan, said the vessels will join a mobility exercise that seeks to enhance the security forces’ capability to respond to disasters.

    “The mobility exercise will train our soldiers to move logistics on a massive scale. It will be the first time we will conduct such [an] exercise with our US counterparts,” Sayson told The STAR in a phone interview on Sunday.

    He said the movement of supplies would be massive since it would involve more than a battalion, or 500 troopers. Such a deployment is now possible because of the Navy's new ships.

    -----

    Read more: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2...tan-2016-test-philippines-new-military-assets



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    FROM THE CHINESE PERSPECTIVE!

    The title for their article itself shows their reaction! |Woot||Hilarious|:eek:


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    Commentary: Manila's dangerous, futile game of involving outsiders in regional row
    Source: Xinhua
    2016-04-04 10:25:23
    Editor: Tian Shaohui



    by Xinhua writers Zhu Dongyang, Yang Tianmu

    BEIJING, April 4 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming U.S.-Philippine military exercises caps Manila's recent attempts to involve outsiders in regional row. However, a provocation so fear-mongering and untimely as such is likely to boomerang on the initiators.

    The 12-day annual Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises will be joined by the U.S. allies of Australia and Japan for the first time in history. Held near the disputed waters of South China Sea, the joint maneuvers were widely seen as Manila's latest showoff of its military alliance with Washington, with the unprecedented participation with the U.S. treaty allies.

    Solely in March, the Philippines allowed the United States to have military access to five bases near the disputed waters with China under the renewed defense pact with the United States. It also leased military aircrafts from Japan and obtained fighters and surveillance radars from South Korea. Australia, an irrelevant outsider, also presented unconstructive concern over the South China Sea issue.

    Under President Benigno Aquino III, the Philippines has been keen on making waves over the South China Sea issue. Without notice or exchanges beforehand, it sued China over the legality of its territorial claims in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, while rejecting the offer of two-way talks.

    -----

    More of this crap: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-04/04/c_135248634.htm
     
  5. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

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  6. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Balikatan Exercise Strengthens U.S.-Philippine Relationship
    By Terri Moon Cronk

    U.S. and Philippines’ armed forces began their 32nd iteration of Exercise Balikatan yesterday in the Philippines, Defense Press Operations Director Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters here today.

    This year’s annual exercise comprises about 5,000 U.S. service members and 3,500 members of the Philippines’ armed forces, in addition to nearly 80 Australian Defense Force (@Cybermat47) personnel and observers from 12 other nations, he said.

    “It is the premier bilateral training exercise between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines,” Davis said, adding that the major U.S. military participating units include the 3rd Marine Division, elements of the 3rd Marine Logistics Group and the 1st Marine Air Wing, the Army’s 25th Infantry Division and the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

    “The exercise is designed to increase interoperability through combined military operations and strengthen the long-standing relationship between the United States and the Philippines,” Davis said.

    It focuses on three simultaneous events through a single scenario across the Philippine islands of Luzon, Palawan and Panay, he added.

    This year’s Exercise Balikatan -- a Filipino word for “shoulder-to-shoulder” -- will focus on disaster relief, crisis response training, and humanitarian civic action projects, including dental and veterinary services and engineering civic access.

    http://www.defense.gov/News-Article...ercise-strengthens-us-philippine-relationship
     
  7. Cossack25A1

    Cossack25A1 1st Lieutenant

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    MSC Ships Deliver Marines, Cargo to Philippines for Balikatan
    By Grady Fontana,
    Military Sealift Command Far East
    Posted April 5, 2016


    OLONGAPO, Philippines - Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) maritime prepositioning force (MPF) ship USNS 1ST LT Jack Lummus (T-AK 3011) arrived at Subic Bay here, March 26-29, and offloaded her cargo to 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force Marines in preparation for exercise Balikatan 16 (BK16).

    BK16, in its 32nd iteration, is scheduled to take place on the Philippine islands of Luzon, Palawan, and Panay and is an annual bilateral exercise that involves U.S. military and Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel and subject matter experts from Philippine Civil Defense agencies.

    More ->
    http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news.aspx/110018


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    US-Philippines joint drill makes Washington’s intentions in region clear
    The Straits Times/Asia News Network
    April 7th, 2016 03:00 PM



    The annual Balikatan military exercises between the United States and the Philippines are more than just a parade of weapons and men.

    They also offer a useful lens with which to see Washington’s intentions in Southeast Asia.

    More -> http://globalnation.inquirer.net/13...tons-intentions-in-region-clear#ixzz4589vyMPO
     
  8. Cossack25A1

    Cossack25A1 1st Lieutenant

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    US, PH conducting gas, oil platform recovery raid in WPS
    April 9, 2016
    Gracel Ortega


    Filipino and American troops are scheduled to conduct a simulated gas and oil platform recovery raid in West Philippine Sea this coming week as part of Balikatan 2016. This training event will be observed by United State Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

    “I will also see some of this firsthand at Exercise Balikatan 2016, our premier exercise with the Philippines,” Carter said in New York at the Council on Foreign Relations April 8.

    More -> http://www.update.ph/2016/04/us-ph-conducting-gas-oil-platform-recovery-raid-in-wps/4099
     
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  9. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dillon Ellzey , front, and Lance Cpl. Andrew Whitbeck assigned to 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force under the Unit Deployment Program, fire a M153 Shoulder Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon in a ground assault maneuver training during Balikatan 16 at Crow Valley, Philippines, April 9, 2016. U.S. and Philippine Marines trained shoulder-to-shoulder after an aerial insert in ground assault maneuvers to build their combined capabilities. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cameron Darrough)

    040916-M-BA410-160.jpg
     
  10. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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