'Warriors of the Sea' exercise kicks off in the Philippines
SUBIC BAY, Philippines - The 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade and the Philippine Marine Ready Force opened exercise KAMANDAG 3, Oct. 9, with a ceremony at the Subic Bay International Airport. KAMANDAG 3 will take place through Oct. 18 at multiple locations on the Philippine islands of Luzon and Palawan.
KAMANDAG 3 is a bilateral exercise between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States, which also features participation from Japan. The Philippine-led exercise will include military-to-military exchanges between Philippine, Japanese, and American forces, with a focus on improving counterterrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities.
Philippine and U.S. service members will conduct training in amphibious operations, live fire drills, military operations in urban terrain, reconnaissance, low altitude air defense, aviation operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, combat lifesaving, and other areas during KAMANDAG 3. The training will enhance cooperation and interoperability between Philippine, Japanese and U.S. forces, as the countries continue to reinforce their commitment to support each other as friends, partners, and allies.
“The exercise is a meaningful indicator of the solidarity that exists between allies,” said Brig. Gen. Ariel R. Caculitan, deputy commandant, Philippine Marine Corps. “The KAMANDAG training underscores not only our excellent cooperation, but also the higher professional standards and competency most valued by our militaries.”
The Japan Self-Defense Force’s participation in the exercise will focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training scenarios. The Philippines, Japan and U.S. will also partner for a variety of community relations events, including teaching hundreds of local civilians about lifesaving skills, disease prevention and personal wellness. Bringing military service members and local populations together for exercises like KAMANDAG 3 develops lifelong friendships and connections that strengthen the partnership between the three countries.
“I would like to embrace this treasured opportunity to have KAMANDAG 3 in this beautiful country,” said Maj. Gen. Shinichi Aoki, commanding general, Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade. “The training items will be much more integrated and also have many more participants, which shows it is a growing exercise.”
KAMANDAG is an acronym for the Filipino phrase “Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat,” which translates to “Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea,” highlighting the strong partnership between the Philippine and U.S. militaries. KAMANDAG 3 will increase overall Philippine and U.S. readiness, improve combined responsiveness to crises in the Indo-Pacific region, and strengthen both countries’ decades-long partnership.
“On behalf of the United States, we remain committed to upholding our defense treaties, reinforcing maritime security efforts, and maintaining regional stability,” said Maj. Gen Paul. J. Rock Jr., commanding general, 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade. “I am confident that we will achieve these objectives throughout this exercise, and that together, we stand ready to face any challenge.”