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PHIBLEX 33 comes to a close

By Sgt. Kathy Nunez | III Marine Expeditionary Force | October 17, 2016

Philippine and U.S. Marines came together for the closing ceremony of Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise 33 (PHIBLEX) in Taguig City, Philippines, Oct. 11, 2016.

“(This) amphibious landing exercise is a result of consistency built on the preceding years’ shared visions, gallant achievements, and mark-ups on lessons learned,” said Brig. Gen. Maximo V. Ballesteros, the director of Philippine forces involved with PHIBLEX 33. “Change must not collide with consistency. Consistency and change should both be balanced to achieve sustainable peace, security and development.”

Throughout PHIBLEX 33, more than 1,400 U.S. service members and 500 Philippine service members conducted training exercises ranging from combined arms to humanitarian civic assistance.

“We learn from the Philippine Marines in their superior jungle warfare school and outstanding combat engineering skills as they learn from us on amphibious operations and integrated fire, command and control,” said Brig. Gen. John M. Jansen, commanding general of 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade. “Our training together as Marines makes us all better and more capable as an interoperable force.”

During their short time together, the Philippine and U.S. forces worked as one team to renovate schools and buildings in Cagayan Valley, conduct health education and information exchanges in San Vicente and Palawig, and tested their amphibious capabilities on the beaches of the Naval Education and Training Center along with several other training exercises across the country.

“The degree of partnership and brotherhood between our Marines was self-evident in the complete integration of our forces down to the platoon level and the smiles, camaraderie and friendship that was powerfully displayed from the landing beach to the tactical ranges inland,” said Jansen.

Although the exercise has come to an end, the countries' relationship continues to withstand the test of time.
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