10.09.2014 -- BASA AIR BASE, LUZON, Philippines – The importance of sharing knowledge, tactics, and experience between allies has always been vital to ensuring different units, militaries and countries can work together to effeciently accomplish the mission.For that reason, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. Marines shared best practices in several areas, including weapons handling, airbase ground defense, and jungle warfare tactics as part of Amphibious Landing Exercise 2015.
PHIBLEX, currently in its 31st iteration, is an annual bilateral training event planned and executed by the Philippines and U.S. to improve interoperability, share best practices, and strengthen the bond between the two long-standing allies.
“The purpose of this training is to focus on the skills necessary to conduct airbase ground defense,” 1st Lt. Cordon J. Miller, the executive officer of Motor Transport Company, Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, Marine Air Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. “We demonstrate the tools necessary to conduct and succeed at that goal.”
Because each force has experience in different areas, the three-day training course provided an opportunity for all units involved to learn as well as teach, according to 1st Lt. Randy P. Elardo, the admin and operations officer with the 541st Air Police Squadron, Air Defense Wing, AFP.
“This is a two-way learning process,” said Elardo, a Leyte, Philippine native. “We have taught the U.S. Marines how we conduct inspections, how we conduct patrolling in our own way, and how we handle detainees and visitors within our base.”
While the weapons familiarization portion of the training served as a review for most of the U.S. Marines who have trained with these weapon systems since graduating bootcamp, it provided new insight to their Filipino counterparts who appreciated the training, according to Elardo.
“The training that the U.S. Marines are giving is very helpful for the Philippine Air Force,” said Elardo. “We have gained a lot of knowledge and the training has enhanced our men’s skills and capabilities.”
The training provided the chance for both forces to come together and demonstrate the unique ways each operates in a tactical environment, as well as gain experience to be used in future training, according to Miller.
“It is a very good expierence to see how they operate,” said Miller. “They share with us the techniques, tactics and procedures that they use from their training, while we share ours with them. I think it is a good expierence for both sides.”