From DVIDS (Oct 22): Falling with style: Philippine, U.S. Marines conduct jump ops for PHIBLEX
Philippine and U.S. reconnaissance Marines make their way into an MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to conduct jump training Oct. 6, 2015, as part of Amphibious Landing Exercise 2015 at Basa Air Base, Philippines. PHIBLEX is an annual, bilateral training exercise conducted by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines alongside U.S. Marine and Navy forces. It focuses on strengthening the partnership and relationships between the two nations across a range of military operations, including disaster relief and complex expeditionary operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tyler Ngiraswei/Released)
BASA AIR BASE, Philippines - “At about 10,000 feet you actually get to see the curvature of the Earth,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Joshua D. Winters, the commanding officer of Maritime Raid Force, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. “It makes you feel very mighty and very invincible, but at the same time it reminds you of how small you are, and I can tell that I never felt more connected with the team than when I get done with a jump.”
Philippine and U.S. Marines had the opportunity to build on that connection when they took part in daytime and nighttime low-level static-line and freefalling military jump operations from Oct. 3 through Oct. 8 as part of Amphibious Landing Exercise 2015 at Basa Air Field, Philippines.
PHIBLEX is an annual bilateral training exercise conducted by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines alongside U.S. Marine and Navy Forces. It focuses on strengthening the partnership and relationships between the two nations across a range of military operations, including disaster relief and complex expeditionary operations.
“It’s an opportunity for us to come and work with our Philippine brothers,” said Winters. “It helps us work as a multinational force for when a contingency happens in (Pacific Command) specifically.”
The jump operations are also a good way to familiarize the two militaries with each other’s capabilities and share tactics, techniques and procedures.
“In our group (Marine Special Operations Command), we are still in the developing part and trying to improve,” said Philippine Marine Capt. Rogin V. Toledo, the commanding officer of 65th Marine Company, MARSOC, Philippine Marine Corps. “We get the opportunity to watch some of you guys and how you do it, and sometime in the future we get to get the opportunity to incorporate those tactics, especially during the formations(in the air).”
The training also gave the Philippine Marines a chance to jump from a platform they’ve never trained on before – the MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.
“This was actually the first time we’ve jumped from the Osprey,” said Philippine Marine Master Sgt. Nicanor Longganay, the company first sergeant with 65th Marine Co., MARSOC, Philippine Marine Corps. “It was a thrill jumping from the back and feeling the blast from the rotors.”
For the Marines who are used to jumping from helicopters at 6,000 to 8,000 feet, the Osprey provided them the opportunity to jump from more than 10,000 feet, which was welcomed with enthusiasm.
“These guys are great, they’re enthusiastic to jump and you can hear them hooting and hollering as their Marines are coming down under canopy, and it’s a lot of fun to go out there and show them what we do, particularly from the jump master perspective,” said Winters. “And we see how they train so that we can take some of the things that we like and implement them into our own standard operating procedures.”
Marines from both nations admitted the adrenaline rush kept them antsy waiting for their turn to jump, and it also helped put in to perspective how the jump operations played a bigger part in the picture.
“The whole point in the reconnaissance element is to give the commander options and he can turn around and make the best decisions not only for the unit, but also the larger strategic and operational implications associated with that unit,” said Winters. “Only when you are falling at 150 miles per hour for your canopy to open do you start to realize that there are a lot of people that move a lot of things to put everything into place so that we can do stuff like this.”
If we say, it is Congress' responsibility, we mean it as a body or collectively. We know that there are many lawmakers in both chambers of Congress who are pushing for the passage of the BBL, especially Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Senate President Franklin Drilon. But so far, their collective efforts are not enough to pass the BBL in three previous attempts.
Of course, there are many factors that can explain this difficulty. This is not a finger-pointing exercise. Except those clearly spoiling the BBL in the House and in the Senate, we are not faulting anyone. But whatever is the reason, if the BBL does not pass Congress, it is Congress that did not deliver (and sad to say, it is government, in the ultimate sense, which did not deliver).
Again, when we say government, we are not referring to individuals. We refer to the Government of the Philippines or GPH, which is made up of three branches of government and other entities of government. It is the GPH whom we talked to since January 7, 1997, not Congress and not the Judiciary.
We are not saying here that President Benigno Aquino III cannot and will not deliver. We still firmly believe that the BBL can still be pass under his close watch. He still has our trust and confidence safely intact.
In Congress, what is decisive is how the leaderships in both chambers play their roles. The real test of leadership is when others do not want to follow. It is similar to negotiation. The start of real negotiation is when the other party says no to a particular proposal. By then, the first party has the burden to look for reasons why the other party does not agree, so that in the next meeting, all the concerns of the other party are parried or addressed effectively.
If we examine closely why the BBL is not moving fast in Congress, the main reasons for this, borrowing the view of Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, are the fears, prejudices, hatred, and even paranoia of the majority population of the Moros in Mindanao. These negative views or perceptions by the majority are not only felt by these lawmakers who are deliberating the BBL but also shared by some of them. A case in point is a Congresswoman from Western Mindanao who refused to hear any argument in favor of the BBL. She repeatedly said, ""I do not want the BBL, period."
Clearly, the BBL is passing through the proverbial eye of the needle in Congress. But opposition to any proposed bill is given in legislative process. But delivery, as pointed out above, is the function of those who want it passed.
It is a pity that despite the passage of centuries, many of us still sporting that Moro-Spanish animosities prevalent in the 16th century and onward. We can understand if this view still exists among the ordinary folks but if lawmakers, many of who are well educated, have not shed this yet, then it is not surprising that this conflict in Mindanao will continue to pester us.