PH, US Marines practice ship-to-shore landings
By Sgt. Isis Ramirez
| U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific | May 09, 2014
SAN ANTONIO, Philippines --
Doing what they do best, a group of Marines from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the U.S. stormed a beach during a company-level combined amphibious boat landing exercise at the Naval Education Training Center here May 9 as part of the ongoing training exercise Balikatan 2014.
In line with their amphibious nature, the Philippine Marine Special Operations Platoon 2, Marine Battalion Landing Team 2, and U.S. Marines from 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion crept hastily from the Philippine Navy ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz to their beach landing site during the raid, which was aimed at enhancing their interoperability.
“This amphibious raid is a part of the bilateral training,” said Philippine Marine 1st Lt. Patrick Albano, commanding officer of the 62nd Marine Component. “It is the Marines’ primary capability to come from a ship and go to the shore.”
The two forces kicked off their training by boarding the AFP Navy ship. Then a team of U.S. reconnaissance forces conducted what is known as a “hasty beach report,” where a handful of Marines make an initial approach to the coastline on a combat raiding rubber craft.
“They’ll check out the beach to make sure it’s suitable for the [Philippines’] small unit riverine craft,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Jeremy Scheier, company commander of Company A. “Then they’ll link back up, pass the beach report to (the forces still on the ship).”
Once the teams confirmed that the beach could be used for landing, the two small unit riverine craft and three combat raiding rubber craft landed and conducted an assault on their objective.
These types of landings can be used for any range of follow on operations, including humanitarian and disaster response. Despite both teams being experts in the landing, the importance of the exercise was to enhance familiarization between the Philippine-U.S. team.
“The big thing is relationship building and (gaining) familiarization with each other,” said Scheier. “It familiarizes the U.S. side of the operation with the Filipino side of the operation. So if something comes down that’s time sensitive, when we actually have to bring aid to people, it may not be the first time we’re operating together. It allows us to develop a common starting point for follow on (operations).”
Many training events similar to these landings are practiced during Balikatan, an annual bilateral training exercise between the Philippine and the U.S. military aimed, not only at increasing military-to-military interoperability, but also at strengthening the Philippine-U.S. relationship.