USS ESSEX, At Sea --
Approximately 2,200 Marines and Sailors of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit are scheduled to participate in training exercise PHBILEX, in the Republic of the Philippines, from Oct. 20 - 28.
Marines of the 31st MEU will be training in specific functions in the following areas: bilateral amphibious unit training at Crow Valley; bilateral amphibious landing training in San Miguel; bilateral small boat training in Palawan; and community relations, engineering and medical/dental civil action programs at various locations throughout Luzon and Palawan.
The 31st MEU will conduct five days of air-ground and amphibious training with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to improve interoperability, increase readiness, and continue to build professional and personal relationships.
The 31st MEU assisted the Republic of the Philippines with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief after Super Typhoon Juan devastated areas of Northeast Luzon in 2010, emphasizing the importance of our bilateral relationship.
This will be the 28th time the Philippines have hosted PHIBLEX, which solidifies the importance of bilateral training with the Philippine military and increasing interoperability with our allies.
The U.S. and the Philippines enjoy a historic relationship that builds on the strong ties between our two nations. The U.S. and the Philippines work closely together on a range of issues including humanitarian assistance, responding to disasters, and combating regional threats to security.
The civil-military component of the exercise promotes engineer and medical operational readiness while providing services to areas where there is need for structures and medical care.
The 31st MEU includes more than 2,200 Marines and Sailors, and is comprised of four elements: the Command Element; Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265 (Reinforced) and Combat Logistics Battalion 31.
The 31st MEU provides a forward-deployed, flexible, sea-based force capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Always ready to respond, the 31st MEU is also prepared to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief when directed.
The 31st MEU is operating in support of 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade for this exercise, is the only continually forward-deployed MEU, and is the United States' force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.