Balikatan is an annual Republic of the Philippines-U.S. military bilateral training exercise and humanitarian assistance engagement. It will take place in the Philippines May 5 to 16.
During Balikatan 2014, Philippine and U.S. service members will conduct humanitarian civic assistance projects throughout Legazpi City. Military medical personnel will offer free medical, dental and veterinary care. Military engineers will construct and repair schools and other community infrastructure in selected communities.
The Balikatan exercise focuses on training members of both Philippine and U.S. armed forces to provide relief and assistance in the event of natural disasters and other crises that endanger public health and safety. Additionally, military service members from both countries will conduct combined staff exercises and field training in Crow Valley, Fort Magsaysay and Clark Airfield to improve their interoperability and contingency planning.
Balikatan 2014 is the 30th iteration of the annual exercise. This year, the Philippines and the United States have invited a number of personnel from other regional partner nations to attend a portion of the exercise.
“Balikatan” in Filipino means "shoulder-to-shoulder" and characterizes the spirit of the exercise.
For updates and additional information about Balikatan like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/exercisebalikatan. (US Embassy Manila)