US, PHL units train together to relieve typhoon-hit community in Aurora

By on May 15, 2017

MANILA–Naval and air units from the Philippines and the US militaries on Monday performed a series of maneuvers aimed at relieving Barangay Dibacong, Casiguran town, Aurora which was hypothetically devastated and isolated by a massive typhoon.

The exercise is part of the 33rd iteration of “Balikatan” which started May 8 and will end on the 19th.

The Philippine Navy component was led by the BRP Tarlac (LD-601), the country’s largest and first strategic sealift vessel.

While the US contingent for this exercise was the USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE-2), a Lewis-and-Clark dry cargo ship and assorted Sikorsky UH-60 combat utility helicopters.

Major Frank Sayson, Philippine “Balikatan” spokesperson, said the ships, helicopters, and landing craft units, were deployed with the goal of relieving and providing supplies to Barangay Dibacong who was isolated by a “Category 5” typhoon.

These involved ship-to-shore manuevers, he added.

“Help for the people (isolated here) will come through the sea and this is called the Civil Military Activities From the Sea,” he added.

All of the above-mentioned assets are capable of transporting and carrying significant amounts of supplies, relief personnel and landing them during crisis situations, Sayson stressed.

Such operations are seamless as they are inter-service in nature, he pointed out.

Prior the exercise, Sayson said US subject matter experts briefed their Filipino counterparts on various tactics and strategies which can expedite in providing relief aid to the typhoon devastated community.