AFP's joint forces train to retake island

AFP's joint forces train to retake island

They moved as one unit in retaking an island which was taken by an enemy.

The joint exercises was done by the three different branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which has for an objective to enhance joint operations among the AFP’s ground, air and naval assets for maritime security, military operations in urban terrain and amphibious operations.

The combined forces of the AFP practiced retaking a remote island captured by an enemy, featuring the Philippine Marine Corps’ newly-acquired and brand new amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs).

AFP's joint amphibious assault exercise
(photo credit PDI)

Four AAVs were launched from the Philippine Navy’s BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602) to carry out the the ship-to-shore operations.
It may be recalled that the AFP purchased 8 AAVs from South Korean defense manufacturer Hanwha Techwin for P2.42 billion, as part of its on going modernization program

“It is an honor for us that we pioneer the new AAVs of the armed forces,” said Navy 1st Lt. Marever Evans Taghap, commanding officer of the 76th Marine Company. He served as commanding officer of the AAV fleet.

Tanghap said the AAVs can be deployed for combat and for rescue operations. “Considering that the country is frequented by storms, the AAV plays a big role in disaster retrieval operations,” she said.

The drills, a part of the main events under the ongoing AFP Joint Exercise (AJEX DAGIT-PA), used a portion of Subic Bay, Zambales, part of a former US naval base facing the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) used its S-76A rotary-wing aircraft to conduct casualty evacuation from shore to ship ops.

Lt. Col. Henry Espinosa, commander of Amphibious Landing Force, said this joint drills were historic because it is the first time that the Philippine Marines used its own AAVs for ship-to-shore exercises without the United States of America.

“Matagal na naming ginagawa ito with our counterparts with US Marine Corps. But what is significant, historical and unique kasi ginamit natin yung sarili nating AAVs. For the longest time, nagko-conduct kami ng ganitong exercise bilateral with the US Marine Corps. Right now, we are doing it on our own unilaterally,” he told mediamen.

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Report from PDI

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