During a bilateral exercise between the US and the Philippines, US Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) embarked and launched from Philippine Navy sea lift vessel BRP Tarlac (LD-601) for the first time ever.
The evolutions were part of exercise KAMANDAG, taking place off the coast Luzon between October 2 and 9, and come at a time when the Philippine Navy is preparing to operate its own AAVs which are set to enter service in 2019.
The new Philippine Marine Corps AAVs will be operating from the two landing platform docks BRP Tarlac and BRP Davao Del Sur which were commissioned in June 2016 and May 2017, respectively.
“This operation is simply to prove that AAVs can work in conjunction with [the BRP Tarlac’s] deck, and to work on standard operating procedures for the Philippine Navy, in conjunction with the Philippine Marine Corps,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Timothy Neder.
Philippine Marine Corps Public Affairs Officer, Capt. Maria R. Dalmacio said the BRP Tarlac supports various operations, including maritime security, counterpiracy, counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and some law enforcement operations.
KAMANDAG is an acronym for the Filipino phrase “Kaagapay Ng Mandirigna Ng Dagat,” which translates to “Cooperation of Warriors from the Sea.”