The US, Philippines and Japan have completed exercise KAMANDAG 3 at Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown in Taguig, Manila.

The 11-day Philippine-led bilateral military exercise, which started on 09 October, involved 1,400 US forces, 900 Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) members, and 100 Japanese personnel.

KAMANDAG was intended to improve readiness and combined responsiveness.

The manoeuvres in the exercise also focused on increasing interoperability among the forces of participating countries.

3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade commanding general major general Paul Rock said: “Our forces have enhanced capabilities, interoperability and readiness through teamwork fostered by a true dedication to the attainment of excellence.

“Seeing the output of their hard work and expertise, I have the utmost confidence that our forces stand prepared in their mission to uphold peace and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region.”

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The exercise involved a multilateral amphibious landing. During KAMANDAG 3, the Philippine Marine Corps launched its assault amphibious vehicles (AAVs) for the first time alongside AAVs from the US and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

This year’s exercise also comprised air defence and threat reaction training between Philippine and US personnel.

Philippine Marine Corps deputy commandant brigadier general Ariel Caculitan said: “For the past nine days, we saw action not on the battlefield, but on the training grounds, and we sweat and did our best to enhance our soldiers’ and marines’ capabilities in warfighting and also humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

“The point is we must all be prepared whenever we need these capabilities, either warfighting or humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and I think this whole exercise we have met the goals and objectives.”

The bilateral training drills included amphibious operations reconnaissance, low altitude air defence, live-fire drills, military operations in urban terrain, and aviation operations.

The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force participated in training scenarios covering humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.