(Photo courtesy of AFP)

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday formally concluded the fifth iteration of the AFP Joint Exercise DAGIT-PA (AJEX DAGIT-PA 05-2021).

AFP chief, Lt. Gen. Andres C. Centino, led the closing ceremony along with AJEX 05-2021 exercise director, Maj. Gen. Ariel Felicidario III, and AFP deputy chief-of-staff on education and training, Rear Admiral Antonio Palces, held in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

“Today’s event could not be more opportune as the AFP advances on its journey towards modernization and of becoming at par with our foreign counterparts. I am thus proud to join all of you here today for the successful culmination of the AFP Joint Exercise Dagat, Langit, at Lupa,” he added.

This year’s AJEX DAGIT-PA was participated by 1,492 active personnel and 92 reservists from all the major services. They all took part in several joint interoperability events as well as command post exercises ably supervised by a crack team of exercise staff headed by Col. Michael G Logico, the exercise executive agent.

The exercise ran from November 8 to 18.

It has encompassed major events such as Cyber Defense Exercise in Camp Aguinaldo; Air Detection and Interception viewed from Pasay City; Live Fire Exercise and Urban Operations in Capiz; Maritime Operations in Panay; and Amphibious Operations with Special Operations in Antique.

This is also the first time that majority of the activities for AJEX-DAGIT PA were held outside Luzon.

This year’s exercise area is at the joint area of responsibility of the Visayas Command under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Robert Dauz and specifically in the training areas of the 3rd Infantry Division under Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo.

Different assets of the Philippine Army (PA), Philippine Air Force (PAF), and the Philippine Navy (PN) to include the Philippine Marines, were deployed to test interoperability among the Major Services.

These assets include combat engineering equipment, armored vehicles, fixed-wing aircraft, artillery, K-9 teams, and explosive ordnance division teams from the PA.

Meanwhile, the PAF deployed four FA-50PH jet fighters, two A29B "Super Tucano" attack aircraft, two AW-109 attack helicopters, two S-70i "Black Hawk" combat utility helicopters, one S-76A air ambulance, two Hermes 900 UAVs, one C-130, and one C-208B Grand Caravan.

While the PN utilized the frigate BRP Antonio Luna, patrol ship BRP Andres Bonifacio, landing dock BRP Tarlac along with several naval helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Also present were Philippine Marines amphibious assault vehicles, artillery, and M-35, and KM-450 trucks.

Centino emphasized that the AJEX-DAGIT PA is all part of the AFP’s continuous endeavor to achieve better unity of command and capitalize on the synergy of military operations.

“The regular conduct of Joint Training Exercises or the conduct itself of Joint Operations certainly allows the AFP to maximize its array of capabilities in any given threat situation.

With the success of this year’s AJEX DAGIT-PA, there is no doubt that the AFP has truly achieved higher levels of competency and capability enhancement complemented by our new modern and high-tech equipment," he said. (PNA)