Kamandag 3 exercises start
An exercise between the United States and Philippines along with the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) dubbed as Kamandag 3 formally started in Zambales on Wednesday.
The opening ceremony that was led by Brig. Gen. Arwel Oropesa, deputy commander of Northern Luzon Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was held at Subic Bay International Airport, Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Olongapo City.
The exercise that will be participated by more than a 1,000 American, Filipino and Japanese forces is expected to last until Oct. 18, 2019.
Capt. Felix Serapio, Philippine Marines spokesman, said "the ten-day training will be held simultaneously in various locations covering the areas of Cavite, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga, and Palawan."
"The exercise will also feature cooperative health engagements, civil affairs interactions, and community relations events throughout Luzon. The purpose is to exchange information on hygiene skills, life support, first response, and safety protocols, as well as to conduct religious ministry, primary education, and athletic events," he said.
"These humanitarian and civic assistance activities enable our service members to foster improved military to military ties and provide support to local communities," he added.
Kamandag 3 also includes amphibious exercise in Marine Barracks Gregorio Lim Ternate, Cavite on Oct. 12 and live fire exercise at Col. Ernesto Ravina Air Base in Capas, Tarlac on Oct. 17.
Serapio said Kamandag, an acronym for the Filipino phrase “Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat,” which means to “Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea,” is a bilateral exercise which is smaller than the annual Balikatan exercises. Robina Asido/DMS