MANILA – Filipino and American combat engineers trained on how to defend and survive against enemy tanks and armored infantry vehicle attacks as part of this year's "Salaknib" exercises.
In a statement Thursday, Philippine Army (PA) spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said troops of the 525th Engineer Combat Battalion and their counterparts from the United States Army Pacific’s (USARPAC) 25th Infantry Division conducted the "survivability fighting position" and "anti-tank ditch" operations on March 28.
"(These operations are) part of the ongoing Exercise 'Salaknib' at the 1st Brigade Combat Team's Demo Range, Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija," he said.
These drills provide participating troops with the combat skills and techniques needed to defend and prevail against enemy tanks or any armored vehicles whose objective is to capture or overwhelm their position.
As this developed, Trinidad said soldiers of the 99th Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Division; 1st Scout Ranger Regiment; Special Forces Regiment (Airborne); and the Light Reaction Regiment of the PA and its US Army counterparts sharpened their skills in "Fast Rope Insertion/Extraction System" (FRIES) and Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction System (SPIES) in Fort Magsaysay on March 28.
"FRIES" and "SPIES" skills are vital in inserting and extracting soldiers in the most restrictive and challenging terrains typical of the world's jungles, he added.
The PA and USARPAC troops on Monday also conducted a demonstration of sensitive site assessment and exploitation in Fort Magsaysay.
"Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) response personnel from the Army Support Command and the 525th Engineer Combat Battalion of the 51st Engineer Brigade, PA conducted sensitive site assessment and exploitation with their US Army counterparts as part of the ongoing Exercise 'Salaknib'," Trinidad said.
The "Salaknib," which began in 2016, is an annual combined exercise between the PA and the USARPAC, geared at bolstering interoperability between the two land forces.
This year’s exercise began on March 13 and is scheduled to end on April 4. About 3,000 soldiers from USARPAC's 25th Infantry Division and PA's 5th Infantry Division, 7th Infantry Division, and 1st Brigade Combat Team are training side-by-side in a spectrum of military operations in the ongoing "Salaknib." (PNA)