Balikatan Joint Exercise 2013

Zambales, Philippines April 7, 2013 – Left photo, U.S. Navy Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Doctor Jennifer Almy and barangay health worker Geralyn Maranan listen to the heartbeat of a local resident’s unborn baby during a medical community relations project at the Natividad Health Clinic. In the lead-up to Balikatan 13, U.S. military service members have been working together with Filipinos on projects to help communities in need. (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy)
Photo below, A Philippine Navy Seabee and a U.S. Marine smooth concrete during the rebuilding of Rabanes Elementary School. Before the rebuilding, the school was rendered unusable due to frequent flooding. In the lead-up to Balikatan 13, Philippine and U.S. military service members have been working together on construction projects to help communities in need. (Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)
Zambales, Philippines April 4, 2013 - Philippine Army Lieutenant Colonel Henry Bellan and his U.S. Army counterpart, Lieutenant Colonel John Garrity, bury a time capsule containing the original construction plans for a footbridge being built in San Narcisco, Zambales, on March 18. In the lead-up to Balikatan 13, Philippine and U.S. military have been working shoulder-to-shoulder on construction projects to help communities in need. The new 60-meter suspension footbridge will allow residents of Barangay San Pasqual to cross a river to attend school and sell goods at the village market without having to travel 40 minutes by road, as they do now. Balikatan is an annual Philippine –U.S. military training exercise and engagement in humanitarian assistance. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy)


BALIKATAN JOINT EXERCISE 2013 : U.S. & Philippine Armed Forces Train For Humanitarian  Disaster Response & Improve Interoperability

Balikatan is an annual Philippines-U.S. military bilateral training exercise and humanitarian assistance engagement.

As a signature element of our two nations’ robust treaty alliance relationship, Balikatan 2013 will take place from April 5 to 17.

As part of this year’s exercise, members of the Philippine and U.S. armed forces will undertake joint humanitarian assistance projects in communities throughout Zambales province.

Preliminary work on community infrastructure projects will begin mid-March.  Military medical personnel will offer free medical, dental and veterinary care.

In selected communities, military engineers will construct and repair schools and other infrastructure.

The Balikatan series of exercises focuses on training both the U.S. and Philippines armed forces to provide relief and assistance in the event of natural disasters and other crises that endanger public health and safety.

Additionally, armed forces personnel from both countries will conduct combined staff exercises and field training in Camp O’Donnell, Crow Valley, Subic Bay and Fort Magsaysay to improve interoperability and contingency planning.

Balikatan 2013 is the 29th iteration of this annual exercise.  This year, the Philippines and the United States have invited a small number of personnel from other partner nations in the region to attend a portion of the exercise.

“Balikatan” in Filipino means “shoulder-to-shoulder” and characterizes the spirit of the exercise and the Philippines-U.S. alliance. #

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