50 US Marines to participate in Balikatan 2015

By on March 25, 2015


Philippine army Lt. Col. Henry Bellan, left, and U.S. Army Lt. Col. John Garrity, the deputy commanders of Joint Civil Military Operations Task Force, bury a time capsule containing the construction plans for a footbridge during a groundbreaking ceremony March 18, 2013, in San Narciso, Philippines. The job was one of eight engineering civic action projects conducted by U.S. and Philippine service members in support of exercise Balikatan 2013. Balikatan is an annual bilateral training exercise designed to increase interoperability between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the U.S. military when responding to future natural disasters. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chris Fahey, U.S. Navy/Released -- Wikipedia photo)
Philippine army Lt. Col. Henry Bellan, left, and U.S. Army Lt. Col. John Garrity, the deputy commanders of Joint Civil Military Operations Task Force, bury a time capsule containing the construction plans for a footbridge during a groundbreaking ceremony March 18, 2013, in San Narciso, Philippines (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chris Fahey, U.S. Navy/Released — Wikipedia photo)

ILOILO CITY  — Fifty marine soldiers under the United States Pacific Command will be in Yolanda’s hardest hit town of Tapaz as well as Jamindan, Capiz to participate in the week-long Balikatan 2015 starting April 7.

Major Ray Tiongson, Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, said that the American marines will conduct disaster response training in Jamindan and preventive health seminar in Tapaz with the Philippine Army, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection and Capiz Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council attending.

Civilians particularly health workers will also be involved as part of the humanitarian assistance of the US government.

Tiongson stressed that the Balikatan would provide purely training and seminar for the around 300 participants in terms of disaster risk reduction whenever there would be calamities and on preventive health.

The US Marines will also be putting up a school building with two classrooms starting this week in Barangay Taft in Tapaz. It will be turned over last week of April during the closing of the Balikatan.

Also, the US Marines will conduct assessment of the Iloilo International Port and Iloilo Airport by next month. They are also scheduled to make a courtesy call to Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr.