PH, US eye bigger Salaknib exercises




The Manila Times


AFTER the success of this year’s “Salaknib” exercises, the Philippine Army (PA) and the US Army Pacific (Usarpac) are now looking to conduct a bigger and better version of the training next year. Army spokesman Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement on Sunday that both the PA and Usarpac planning delegations have studied and updated the mission statement, as well as the area of operations, strategic objectives, exercise timeline and scaling up of “Salaknib” in their recent meeting held in Hawaii. “The PA and the Usarpac are gearing to scale up the 2023 edition of the combined Salaknib exercise during the planning conference attended by delegations from both armies in Hawaii from June 27 to June 30, 2022,” Trinidad said. He added that both militaries are expected to add more personnel to train during the series of exercises. It is expected to be announced within the coming months. “Salaknib,” which means shield in Ilocano, is an annual bilateral exercise that aims to enhance the defense readiness of Filipino and American troops by developing tactical interoperability. Last March, some 2,200 Filipino and US Army troops trained in Central Luzon as they focused on capability development of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, the PA’s primary combined arms and rapid deployment unit. It was a 20-day exercise that started on March 5. Army commander Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. in an earlier statement said that the exercise shows the “long-standing bilateral relations” between the Philippines and the United States.