Filipino and American troops trained together in handling chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) as the “Balikatan” exercise officially marked its second day on Wednesday.
The CBRN Company of the Army Support Command and a platoon from the 3rd Infantry Division (3rd ID), both of the Philippine Army, and the US Marines Corps, held the training at the 3rd ID headquarters in Capiz.
Army spokesman Col. Xerxes Trinidad said the units held discussions on mission-oriented protective posture (MOPP) and MOPP gear exchange. They later held practical exercises applying what they learned during the discussions.
“Exercise Balikatan’s CBRN training program is designed to enhance the capabilities of the Philippine military and its allied forces in responding to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats,” Trinidad said.
The CBRN training under the bilateral exercise, whose iteration this year was the largest in its history as it is being participated by 17,600 American and Filipino soldiers, includes classroom lectures, hands-on exercises and simulations.
Meanwhile, General Charles Flynn, commander of the US Army Pacific (USARPAC), called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Andres Centino on Wednesday at Camp Aguinaldo where the two discussed cooperation between the two armies.
The two military officials also conferred on the Balikatan and the just concluded “Salaknib” military exercise.
“General Flynn mentioned that these exercises are essential opportunities for operationalizing EDCA from the perspective of the military. He looks forward to the conduct of similar engagements in other areas that could uplift local communities. They also discussed high-level engagements, such as the trilateral meeting with Japan and the Indo-Pacific Army Conference,” military public affairs office chief Col. Jorry Baclor said.
Flynn thanked Centino during his visit.
“Our history as armies and nations runs deep. The sacrifices should not be forgotten; we should talk about this every time we get together about this brotherhood. Thank you so much for your commitment, leadership, and your effort. And to all of you and your families for what you do for your country and in making this commitment deeper and lasting,” the USARPAC commander said.
On the other hand, Centino assured Flynn of the Philippine military’s continued partnership with the US Armed Forces in the Indo-Pacific.
“I hope you have a memorable time on your trip here; we thank you for taking the time to visit us,” the chief of staff told Flynn.