The series of activities for the Balikatan Exercises in Panay Island have started.
Public Affairs Office head Major Ray Tiongson of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division disclosed that the activities in line with the Philippine-United States Balikatan Exercises this year, particularly in Panay Island kicked off this month.
He said that Head Lieutenant Commander Catherine Eyrich, who heads the US Joint Civil-Military Operations Task Force for Balikatan Exercise in Panay, emphasized that the joint exercise is to build relationship and continue the active military-to-military partnership between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the US Armed Forces.
Tiongson said that the event commenced with the phase I construction of the school building at Don Joaquin Artuz Memorial School, adding that said construction will be until April 11.
He also said that the four-day Basic First Responders training started last April 7, where 105 first responders are undergoing the training at the 3ID headquarters at Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz.
A health seminar will likewise be conducted on April 11 at barangay San Nicolas, Tapaz town, he said.
Tiongson stressed that of the total participants to the basic first responders training, 82 are military personnel from the 3ID-Philippine Army, 13 reservists from the 6th Regional Community Defense Group and 10 personnel from the Capiz Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
The training, he said, aims to promote and enhance the capabilities of both the Philippines and US Armed Forces in terms of humanitarian and civic assistance during disasters and calamities.
A series of lectures and practical exercises on basic life support, primary medical care, rescue procedures, and mass evacuation simulation among others will be conducted by the United States Cooperative Health Engagement Team led by Captain Jennifer Brown, a medical doctor in the US Army.
The succeeding activities for Balikatan Exercise in Panay include the Civil-Military Operations Exchange Seminar at Camp Peralta for 3ID personnel, as well as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Seminar.
For his part, 3ID Commander Major General Rey Leonardo Guerrero pointed out that the training will provide the participants with capabilities so they can properly respond and provide assistance in rescue, relief, recovery and rehabilitation in times of disasters or calamities.
Guerrero also urged the trainees to be serious in their participation so they would be able to apply their knowledge when the time calls for their response.