Philippine, US Marines sharpen amphibious operations during PHIBLEX 2015

141002-M-AQ282-004Philippine and U.S. Marines simulate a beach landing from combat rubber raiding crafts onto a small island off the coast of Palawan, Philippines, Oct. 2, 2014 during Amphibious Landing Exercise 2015. The amphibious assault and boat raids were conducted by U.S. Marines to complete a certification exercise being held in conjunction with PHIBLEX 15. PHIBLEX is an annual, bilateral training exercise conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, U.S. Marines and Navy to strengthen interoperability across a range of capabilities, including disaster relief and contingency operations. The AFP Marines are with 12th Marine Battalion, Philippine Marine Corps, and the U.S. Marines are with Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

PALAWAN, Philippines — U.S. and Philippine Marines raided a small island Oct. 2 utilizing combat rubber raiding crafts during Amphibious Landing Exercise 15.

The Philippine Marines are with the 12th Marine Battalion and the U.S. Marines are with Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

For the U.S. Marines, the raid was part of their Certification Exercise, a semi-annual assessment to test the capabilities of the MEU’s ability to conduct a variety of missions. This iteration of CERTEX is unique because it is running concurrently with the objectives of PHIBLEX 15.

The assessment evaluates the 31st MEU’s planning, briefing, preparation and execution processes. After the evaluation, each phase is broken into categories of accomplished, partially accomplished or mission unsuccessful, so the MEU commander and Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the team.

The day prior to the raid, Philippine and U.S. Marines integrated and trained side by side to prepare for the mission.

“It was great working with the Armed Forces of the Philippines; within the hour of us meeting, everyone had already linked up and immediately started running rehearsals for training,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Brian T. Spillane, commander of Company L, BLT 3/5.

The mission scenario, developed by Special Operations Training Group, required the BLT to raid a small island via combat rubber raiding crafts. Once there, they had to clear and secure several houses while taking simulated enemy fire from a combined group of AFP and U.S. Marines acting as an opposing force.

“I feel this is important training for all of us because we learn different tactics,” said Philippine Marine Staff Sgt. Julius Tumpag, intelligence chief with 12th Marine Bn., AFP. “It’s meaningful, and in a way, it’s also fun.

The strong alliance between AFP and U.S. Marines has made the execution of the mission a successful one, according to Spillane. “They’re a gracious, welcoming host, and I think we synched up pretty well,” said Spillane. “It’s been a productive bilateral training exercise.”

PHIBLEX 15 is being conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines alongside U.S. Marine and Navy forces to strengthen interoperability across a range of military operations to include disaster relief and contingency operations.

Read more: http://www.marines.mil/News/NewsDisplay/tabid/3258/Article/503321/philippine-us-marines-sharpen-amphibious-operations-during-phiblex-2015.aspx

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