California Marine Returns Home to Philippines
By 1st Lt. Ryan Lowcher
| 3rd Marine Division | May 16, 2018
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Nicolle Lacantara works on his vehicle on Colonel Ernesto Ravina Air Base during Exercise Balikatan, in Tarlac, Philippines, May 11, 2018. Exercise Balikatan, in its 34th iteration, is an annual U.S.-Philippine military training exercise focused on a variety of missions, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counterterrorism and other combined military operations held from May 7 to May 18. Lacantara, a native of Bulacan, Philippines, is a motor transport mechanic assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Krysten Gomez)
OKINAWA, JAPAN -- A Castro Valley Marine returns home while participating in a large-scale multilateral exercise in the Republic of the Philippines.
Lance Cpl. Nicoleandr Alacantara, originally born in Manila, is deployed to Colonel Ernesto Rabina Air Base in support of Exercise Balikatan 2018. He currently serves in Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa Japan.
"I lived in the Philippines for the first 18 years of my life, and this is the first time I have been back since I moved," said Alcantara.
Now serving in the Marine Corps in the Pacific, he believes both countries can help each other.
"Being able to work hard and continue to keep a positive mindset is what I have learned from the AFP, we have been able to share our knowledge with them and learn from them in return," he added.
Alacantara's mission is to set up the vital communication gear which helps Commanders issue orders and resupply Marines low on supplies.
Balikatan is an annual U.S.-Philippine military training event focused on a variety of missions, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counterterrorism, and other combined military operations. BK 34-2018 will take place in the Philippines May 7 to 18.