By Priam Nepomuceno

BOOSTING MUTUAL DEFENSE. Philippine and US Marine Corps personnel join combined interoperability events as part of the “Archipelagic Coast Defense Continuum” between the two units in Palawan on Thursday (May 16, 2024). The Philippine Marine Corps’ (PMC) 3rd Marine Brigade said Friday (May 17) the drills aimed to enhance interoperability and coastal defense capabilities and reinforce the strategic partnership between the Philippines and the US. (Photo courtesy of PMC 3rd Marine Brigade)

MANILA – Marine units from the Philippines and the United States conducted a series of combined interoperability events as part of the three-day “Archipelagic Coast Defense Continuum” (ACDC) in the province of Palawan.

Participants in the exercise, which began Wednesday and closes Friday, were from the Philippine 3rd Marine Brigade’s Marine Landing Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) 9 and the US Marine Corps’ 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

“This exercise, held in Barangay Kamuning (in Puerto Princesa City), is designed to enhance interoperability and coastal defense capabilities, reinforcing the strategic partnership between the Philippines and the United States,” the Philippine Marine Corps’ (PMC) 3rd Marine Brigade said in a statement Friday.

The exercise began with a combined convoy operation from the 3rd Marine Brigade headquarters in Puerto Princesa City to Kamuning Beach.

This large-scale movement involved a coordinated deployment of military vehicles, showcasing the capability of both forces to manage and secure vital supplies and troop movements overland.

The combined convoy operation tested logistical and navigational skills, demonstrating the units’ ability to operate seamlessly under dynamic conditions.

“Following the convoy, a small unmanned aerial system (SUAS) from the 3rd Marine Corps Intelligence Company of the Philippine Marine Corps was deployed for reconnaissance over Kamuning,” it added.

The drone provided real-time intelligence and surveillance, enabling the Marine units to gather critical information about the terrain and potential threats.

The integration of SUAS into the exercise highlighted the importance of advanced technology in modern coastal defense strategies, enhancing the situational awareness and decision-making capabilities of both forces.

Another key component of the exercise was the obstacle emplacement and occupational defense.

Both Marine units engaged in setting up barriers and defensive positions along the coast, simulating scenarios where they had to defend against hypothetical threats.

“These exercises were crucial in teaching the Marines how to establish and maintain defensive perimeters, ensuring the security of strategic coastal areas and demonstrating their preparedness for real-world defense situations,” the 3rd Marine Brigade said.

Aside from combat drills, the exercise also focused on logistical support, specifically the use of water purification systems.

“Given the challenges of ensuring a clean water supply in remote coastal areas, the deployment and operation of these systems were essential. The Marines successfully demonstrated their ability to provide potable water, highlighting their preparedness for sustained operations in austere environments and ensuring that both units could support each other effectively in prolonged missions,” it added. (PNA)