Balikatan is an annual Philippine-U.S. military bilateral training exercise that is a signature element of the Philippine-U.S. alliance focused on a variety of missions to include humanitarian assistance, maritime law enforcement, and environmental protection. Balikatan means "shoulder-to-shoulder," and characterizes the spirit of this bilateral Philippines-U.S. exercise. BK16 will take place in the Philippines April 4 to 16.
During BK 16, Philippine and U.S. service members will conduct humanitarian civil assistance projects throughout Panay and Palawan. Military service members from both countries will also conduct combined simulation supported events and operational events in three main commands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other major Philippine military camps such as Crow Valley, Fort Magsaysay, Clark Air Field, Subic Bay, Palawan and Panay to improve their ability to work together, partnering in capabilities and plan follow-on operations.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. military have a longstanding relationship that has contributed to regional security and stability, and is deeply rooted in cooperation. The training that takes place during BK16 fosters mil-to-mil relationships and increases crisis response capability.