U.S., PHL forces prepare for KAMANDAG 3

MANILA— U.S., Philippine and Japanese service members will begin the third annual KAMANDAG exercise on October 9, 2019, to promote multinational military interoperability, readiness, and capabilities.

The exercise is scheduled for October 9-18, 2019 at various training sites throughout Luzon and Palawan.

During KAMANDAG 3, U.S. and Philippine forces will conduct amphibious operations, live-fire training, urban operations, aviation operations, and counterterrorism response operations. Japanese forces will train alongside U.S. and Philippine forces in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.

New for this year’s KAMANDAG, U.S., Philippine, and Japanese forces will conduct assault amphibious vehicle training together.  It will also be the first to include U.S. and Philippine low-altitude air defense training and threat reaction training.  Together, these activities represent an increase in military capability and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region and demonstrate the ability to forward deploy forces in the event of a crisis or natural disaster.

The exercise will also feature cooperative health engagements, civil affairs interactions, and community relations events throughout Luzon.  The purpose is to exchange information on hygiene skills, life support, first response, and safety protocols, as well as conduct religious ministry, primary education, and athletic events.  Humanitarian and civic assistance activities enable our service members to foster improved military to military ties and provide support to local communities.

KAMANDAG 3 is a Philippine-led, bilateral exercise with the U.S.  KAMANDAG is an acronym for the Filipino phrase “Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat,” which translates to “Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea,” highlighting the partnership between the U.S. and Philippine militaries.

Exercises like KAMANDAG 3 strengthen international partnerships and our forces’ abilities to rapidly respond to crises throughout the Indo-Pacific region.  The goal of KAMANDAG 3 is to increase counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief capabilities through military exchanges.