Wednesday, April 3, 2019

‘Balikatan', other exercises to continue: AFP

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 3, 2019): ‘Balikatan', other exercises to continue: AFP

(PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will continue conducting the "Balikatan" and other exercises in line with its goal to further professionalize the ranks of Filipino military personnel.

In a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Wednesday, Col. Noel Detoyato, AFP public affairs office chief, said negative comments are to be expected from the ranks of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) as military exercises will result in the enhancement of the fighting skills of Filipino troops.

"Rebels will always be against the 'Balikatan" or any other trainings and exercises, whether unilateral, bilateral or joint and combined because they are afraid that war fighting will improve and they would not be able to cope (with it)," he added.

This year's "Balikatan" will run from April 1 to 12. Participating troops will conduct counter-terrorism training, amphibious operations, live-fire training, urban operations training, aviation operations, bilateral planning, subject matter expert exchanges, and humanitarian and civic assistance projects throughout Luzon.

Some 4,000 Filipino, 3,500 American, and 50 Australian troops have been deployed to participate in these exercises.

"Just like any adversaries, they are afraid that their opponent will improve in skill, equipment and capability because it will spell defeat for their armed struggle. Notwithstanding, the AFP will always conduct these exercises and trainings because we believe that it is only through these activities that the AFP can be assured to improve the services that we deliver to the Filipinos," Detoyato said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

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