Marines gird for 'attacks' in war games

Battle-tested Philippine marines and navymen will show to their American counterparts their capability ito respond to a crisis situation  today during the Balikatan ‘war games’ at the Philippine Marine Base in Ternate, Cavite.

The amphibious exercises or sea drills are designed for the US troops to observe and improve on how Filipino soldiers assault or defend themselves  during  a mock assault at an “enemy beach,” said

Col. Edgard Arevalo, commander of the Navy’s Civil Military Operations Group.

Earlier, both US and Philippine marines had “assaulted”  an enemy base in San Antonio, Zambales with both sides illustrating rapid maneuvers aboard high-speed rubber boats and riverine craft to test individual combat skills.

The naval scenario at the Cavite marine base would include rapid deployment of  Filipino marines aboard a Philippine logistic support vessel BRP Bacolod City (LC 551) in assaulting a fortified hostile beach front target.

Arevalo said the objective of the Balikatan at the Marine Base Gregorio Lim was to defeat the enemy while attaining the highest state of inter-operability through sharing of techniques, tactics and procedure that American and Filipinos sailors and marines performs their respective armed forces.

The exercises would have Marines Corps Operations Platoon aboard three newly acquired Small Unit Riverine craft seeing action.

The RP riverine contingent assaults a target while two vessels from BRP Dagupan City and BRP Abraham Camp, a Patrol Gunboat serves as support vessel.

Arevalo said this battle module during the exercise “will test the capability in the conduct of amphibious operation—that of being able to launch a seaborne force from the ship to the shore—is a competency unique to the Philippine Marine Corps as a type command under the Philippine Navy.”

For its part, the US will take note whether the conduct of the exercise by the Marines in the assault is appropriate or needing improvement.

The Philippine Marines had been describe as the frontline force by the government in any crisis situation particularly in Mindanao battling Abu Sayyaf Group and other muslim militants.

Arevalo said the employment of Philippine navy vessel during the exercise complements the marines operational needs to engage enemies in a critical situation.

“This competency of the Philippine Marine Corps is the umbilical cord, so to speak, that binds it with Philippine Fleet that provides he platforms or the ships from where the Marines are landed to some hostile beaches to engage the enemies entrenched inland, “ Arevalo said.

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