Philippines, Japan, US conclude amphibious drill Kamandag

An AH-1Z Viper helicopter with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 169 flies in the sky during the final exercise of KAMANDAG 3 at Colonel Ernesto P. Ravina Air Base, Philippines, Oct. 17, 2019. Photo: US Marine Corps

The US, Philippines and Japan concluded the bilateral military exercise Kamandag 3 in a ceremony in Manila, Philippines, on October 18.

The Philippine-led, bilateral military exercise, which was designed to increase readiness through capabilities development, improve combined responsiveness, and enhance partnership and interoperability between Philippine, Japanese and US forces.

This year’s KAMANDAG marked two major milestones during the exercise. The Philippine Marine Corps successfully launched their assault amphibious vehicles for the first time alongside US and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force AAVs to conduct a multilateral amphibious landing.

Additionally, significant advancements were made during bilateral air defense and threat reaction drills between Philippine and US forces, which support territorial defense training.

Throughout the exercise, Philippine and U.S. service members conducted training in amphibious operations, live fire drills, military operations in urban terrain, reconnaissance, low altitude air defense, aviation operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and other areas.

The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s participation in the exercise focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training scenarios. All three countries partnered during a variety of community relations events, including teaching hundreds of local civilians in the Luzon region about lifesaving skills, disease prevention practices, and overall personal wellness.

“Our forces have enhanced capabilities, interoperability and readiness through teamwork fostered by a true dedication to the attainment of excellence,” said Maj. Gen. Paul J. Rock Jr., 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade commanding general. “Seeing the output of their hard work and expertise, I have the utmost confidence that our forces stand prepared in their mission to uphold peace and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region.”

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