By Elena L Aben
Manila Bulletin, Monday, 11 October 2010
MANILA, Philippines – The annual bilateral military training exercises — called Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) and Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) — between Philippine and American forces start Monday.
At least 3,000 US servicemen are now in the country for the nine-day bilateral training, with their counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Philippine Navy Public Affairs Office (NPAO) director, said around six US Navy vessels and aircraft will also participate in the annual event that involve five Philippine Navy ships and at least 1,000 Philippine Navy and Marine personnel.
Arevalo said while both Philippine an American sailors and marines stand to benefit from the exercises that will take place in Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog, civilians in areas where the activities are set to be held will also gain from joint humanitarian assistance and development projects by Philippine and US military personnel.
The NPAO director said PHIBLEX will involve American and Filipino Marines and amphibious vehicles. A boat raid exercise will be held in Marine Base Ternate in Cavite and a mechanized raid will be held in the coast of the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) in Zambales.
PHIBLEX will officially begin on Thursday, Oct. 14, at Clark, Pampanga and will end on Oct. 22 at the Philippine Marine Corps Headquarters at Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown, Naval Station Jose Francisco in Taguig City.