MANILA – The amphibious landing and island defense phase of this year’s Armed Forces of the Philippines Joint Exercise (AJEX) “DAGIT PA” has been successfully completed in San Antonio, Zambales on Wednesday.
“Our joint forces were able to able successfully complete the amphibious landing and island defense exercises here in San Antonio, Zambales, this is part of the joint interoperability exercises being conducted (and) geared towards better performing our mandate to protect the people and the state,” Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) head Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. during an online press conference on “DAGIT-PA” exercises.
The military drills started November 23 and will conclude on December 4.
“DAGIT-PA” or “Dagat-Langit-Lupa” is a unilateral exercise that aims to further enhance the joint force interoperability and cohesiveness of the AFP across defense mission areas.
“We were able to meet the objectives of this amphibious landing (and) the island defense exercises which seek to develop the military skills, techniques and capabilities during rapid deployment of troops, from ship-to-shore, whether or under hazardous circumstances or during natural disasters or hostile enemy actions,” Burgos said.
The Nolcom chief said the AFP has gained more knowledge and further beefed up its proficiency in sea-to-land operations in these joint exercises.
“We will be sure to use these new skills and techniques in future operations from which no other than the Filipino people will benefit in times of need,” Burgos said.
Meanwhile, “DAGIT-PA” exercise director and AFP spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the amphibious phase of the exercise highlights the capability of the military to launch operations from ship-to-shore using the amphibious capabilities of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC).
Formerly, such capabilities of the PMC were carried out using “LDCP” or small motorized vessels.
With the advent of the amphibious or armored assault vehicles (AAVs), which were delivered in 2019, Arevalo said it gives him “goosebumps” to see Marines going ashore aboard these AAVs which were launched from BRP Tarlac (LD-601) at a speed of five knots and proceeding towards their beachhead and launching their operation further inland.
Also demonstrated was the mine-clearing capability of Naval Special Operations Group in the water and “intelligence, surveillance and recon” (ISR) capabilities of Philippine military aircraft.
Arevalo said AFP demonstrated the capabilities to seize objectives inland while land forces, particularly the infantry, managed to show their ability to counter-attack against a group that invaded the island.
The capabilities of the Special Operation Command (SOCOM) personnel such as operations in urban terrain were shown while the 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) showed its ability to launch tank-infantry operations, among others.
“It is now a matter of us being able to make all these assets and personnel and work seamlessly to attain the AFP mission,” Arevalo said. (PNA)