TRAINING EXERCISE. Filipino troops (upper photo) and Australian army (lower photo) undergo a 27-day anti-terrorism training in Camp Sang-an, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur. (Photo courtesy of Army's 1st Infantry Divison Public Affairs Office)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Filipino and Australian soldiers are undergoing a 27-day training exercise to strengthen the capability of both forces in the fight against terrorism.

The training, dubbed as the Philippines-Australia Army to Army Exercise 2019, kicked off Monday in Camp Sang-an that houses the Philippine Army’s First Infantry Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, said Tuesday the training aims to enhance the combat skills, competence on urban warfare operations and interoperability of the Philippine Army and Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Ancan said the training will provide an opportunity to conduct combined mission planning and combined resolution of terrorist incidents. He said the training will also strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two armies.

“The best gift that a commander can give to his men is training. Make the most out of it and apply it when the time comes,” he said.

He said the 27-day training exercise, which ends on June 21, involves the participation of 540 troops--493 Philippine Army and 47 Australian Army.

He added that the Philippine Army participants are from the different organic and operational control units of Army’s 1st Infantry Division namely, 11th and 15th Division Reconnaissance Companies, 16th Scout Ranger Company, Scout Platoons of Infantry Battalions, 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, and Engineer Combat Battalion. (PNA)