SUBIC BAY, Republic of the Philippines --
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit departed the Republic of the Philippines, Nov. 1, after successfully completing their participation in the annual bilateral Amphibious Landing Exercise.
During PHIBLEX, the 31st MEU conducted exercises across the Philippines, to include a mechanized amphibious assault in San Antonio, a small boat raid in Palawan, parachute operations in Clark, combined arms exercises utilizing aircraft and mortars in Crow Valley, artillery training in Magsaysay, and live-fire training in Ternate.
The MEU also conducted numerous civic actions including the renovation of Ranzang National High School in Palawan by combat engineers, using materials purchased from local towns. MEU doctors and corpsmen also provided basic medical and dental care over three day period, treating more than 2,100 patients.
Throughout the exercise Marines were able to practice their individual and unit skills, and had the opportunity to train side by side with their Philippine counterparts. The training allowed the Marines to gain valuable experience in a unique setting.
“Working with the Philippine Armed Forces is a unique opportunity for our Marines,” said Sgt. Maj. Gonzalo A. Vasquez, the sergeant major of the 31st MEU. “Training with them allows us to gain, and pass on, valuable experience that we can all benefit from.”
Throughout PHIBLEX, the 31st MEU and Philippine Armed Forces built upon the already strong relationship they have shared for more than 30 years, solidifying future cooperation between the two nations.
“I think through our bilateral training with the Philippine Marines we gained a lot of experience out of our combined arms exercises,” said Lt. Col. Troy Roesti, the executive officer of the 31st MEU. “Additionally I think we left a lasting impression on the civilians through our medical and dental care and other civic affairs that engaged the local populace.”
PHIBLEX is an opportunity to conduct training in order to maintain the readiness and interoperability of the U.S. and Republic of the Philippines military forces.
The 31st MEU was operating in support of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade for the exercise, is the only forward-deployed MEU and remains the United States’ force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.