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Philippines, US Marines kick off 2nd 'Kamandag' drills
Brigadier General Chris McPhillips, commanding general of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Major General Nathaniel Casem, inspector general of the Philippine Navy, and Brigadier General Melquiades Ordiales, Deputy Commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps,open exercise KAMANDAG 2 during a ceremony at Subic Bay International Airport.
US Embassy/Released

Philippines, US Marines kick off 2nd 'Kamandag' drills

(Philstar.com) - October 1, 2018 - 2:54pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the US 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade officially opened the "Kamandag" joint exercises in Subic on Monday.

Now on its second year, the exercises will include military-to-military exchanges among participants with a focus on counterterrorism and humanitarian disaster and relief capabilities, the US Embassy said in a media release.

Kamandag—an acronym for "Kaagapay ng mga Mandirigma ng Dagat" or Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea also means "venom" in Filipino—will run from October 1 to 10 at multiple locations in Luzon.

Japanese troops will also participate in the Philippines-led exercises.

"In its first iteration last year, KAMANDAG gave rise to many inaugural advancements between our militaries. I’m looking forward to all that we’re going to achieve together this year," US 3rd MEB commanding general Brig. Gen. Chris McPhillipis said.

Interoperability, disaster readiness and response

The Kamandag exercises is expected to enhance cooperation and interoperability between Filipino and American forces while they undergo activities on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, amphibious landing, live fire training, close air support, jungle survival training, urban operations training and combat lifesaving.

The Philippines and US forces will also participate in community relations events such as engineering and construction projects at a school and day care centers in Ternate, Cavite.

The military medical teams will also teach Ternate residents about lifesavings kills, disease prevention and dental hygiene.

"Participants in exercises like Kamandag 2 develop lifelong friendships and connections that bring the US and Philippines closer together as friends, partners, and allies," the US Embassy said.

Kamandag seeks to improve bilateral responsiveness to crises in the Indo-Pacific region and strengthen the two countries' alliance. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES US MARINES US-PHILIPPINES TIES
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