The Philippine Army (PA) began its separate exercises with American and Australian forces as the military beefed up its training and partnership with its allies.
The 7th Infantry Division (ID) and the United States Army’s 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade (5SFAB) kicked off the Philippines-United States Warfighting Functions Exchange 2023-1 (WFE 23-1) at the headquarters of the 7th ID in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.
Col. Eugene Mata, chief of staff of the 7th ID, highlighted the significance of enhancing the knowledge and skills of PA personnel on warfighting skills during the exercise’s opening ceremony on Monday.
The PHL-US WFE is aimed at meeting mutual training and modernization objectives of both forces across the warfighting functions domain and other training needs through an exchange of best practices, lessons learned, tactics, techniques and procedures of PA troops with their US counterparts.
The 71st Division Reconnaissance Company; Alpha Company, 99th Infantry Battalion; 1st Brigade Combat Team; and Alpha Company, 103rd Infantry Battalion of the 5th Infantry Division also joined the training, which will run until March 3.
Army spokesman Col. Xerxes Trinidad said the iteration would serve as the sustained warfighting enhancement and evaluation program (SWEEP) of the participating Army units and a training for the upcoming US-Philippines Salaknib and Balikatan military exercises.
Meanwhile, the 6th Infantry Division based in Maguindanao also kicked off the Philippine-Australia Army-to-Army Exercise (PAAAE) 23-1 with the 6th Battalion of Royal Australian Regiment, Australian Defence Force.
The PAAAE 23-1 seeks to enhance the capabilities and skills of personnel in urban operations; long-range marksmanship; tactical combat casualty care; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations; and small unit leaders training through the exchange of techniques, tactics and procedures.
Trinidad said elements of the 62nd Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC), 63rd DRC and the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment would undergo the training until March 31.
Image credits: Philippine Army