SUBIC BAY, Republic of the Philippines --
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived here, Oct. 22, to participate in the bilateral Amphibious Landing Exercise.
During the exercise, the Marines and Sailors of the 31st MEU will be working hand-in-hand with their Philippine counterparts.
“Our main mission is to conduct a bilateral exercise with the Philippine military to promote security engagement in the region,” said Lt. Col. Gary Roesti, the executive officer of the 31st MEU. “We will also be conducting civil military operations, which consist of community relations projects, as well as medical and dental care for the Philippine citizens that need it. Through doing this we have the chance to better improve our partnership with the Philippine country.”
For most of the Marines this will be the first time they have set foot in a foreign country, and they are looking forward to learning a new culture and interacting with the Philippine military forces.
“I’d like to be able to learn what the Philippine Marines are all about,” said Cpl. Eric L. Page, a military policeman with the 31st MEU. “I’ve never worked with them, so I would like to know how they run things.”
Page went on to say he also wanted to learn the similarities between the Philippine Marines and U.S. Marines and is looking forward to making some friends during the exercise.
Marines also expressed interest in interacting with civilians, many of whom may have not seen Marines before.
“We are working with Philippine forces right here,” said Page. “So we are looking forward to start interacting with the public and letting them know we are here to help them and work together.”
PHIBLEX is an opportunity to conduct training which is vital to maintaining the readiness and interoperability of the U.S. and the Republic of the Philippines military forces.
The 31st MEU is operating in support of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade for the exercise, is the only continuously forward-deployed MEU and remains the United States’ force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.