AFP to hold first-ever joint service exercises

MANILA — To ensure that all of its major services are capable of operating together as a single unit, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will hold its first-ever joint exercises this month, an official said Friday.

Capt. Rhyan B. Batchar, AFP Joint Exercise “DAGIT-PA 03-19” public affairs office chief, said the exercises will be held in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City; Naval Education and Training Center (NETC) in San Antonio, Zambales; and Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija from September 16 to 27.

Batchar said these exercises are the first for the AFP involving the Army, Air Force and Navy units.

Opening ceremonies will be held in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Monday while an amphibious assault exercise, showcasing the Navy’s latest amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs), will be at the NETC in San Antonio, Zambales on September 19.

The first four AAVs were commissioned on June 17 and the second batch of four is scheduled to be activated on September 16.

All eights AAVs, which were acquired from South Korean defense manufacturer Hanwha Techwin, cost PHP2.42 billion.

These vehicles are armed with .50 caliber machineguns, 40mm grenade launchers and smoke launchers.

On September 23, an airfield retake exercise and military operations in urban terrain, will be held at Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.

The event’s closing ceremony will be at the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo on September 27. Priam Nepomuceno /PNA-