PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN, Republic of the Philippines --
The sound of cadence and sneakers hitting the pavement could be heard as Philippine airmen and U.S. sailors held a physical fitness evolution on Antonio Bautista Air Base April 17, 2012 in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines.
The 5717 Communication Squadron, Philippine Air Force (PAF), and Marine Wing Support Group 17 (MWSG-17) joined together to not only bond, but also to increase their physical fitness for Exercise Balikatan 2012 (BK12) Task Force Palawan.
Although these two military units wear different uniforms and live in separate parts of the world, they share the belief that physical training is an important part of life and a big part of an individual’s and unit’s well being.
“We work out in order to stay healthy, physically and mentally, (and) to maintain stability under pressure,” said Lt. Christian Castillo, the squadron commander for 5711 Security Forces Squadron, PAF.
Mental stability is often vital in ensuring the safety of the service members and is especially important under difficult circumstances.
“When deployed, physical training is a stress reliever. It keeps your mind off of things that may be occurring at home,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Leonard Thomas, a hospital corpsman with MWSG-17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Performing physical fitness daily is not only vital for mental health, but it is also just as important for physical strength and stamina that a service member would need for combat.
“We need to be fit for life, we have to go out and fight,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Rico Bautista, a hospital corpsman with MWSG-17.
The two nations stand on common ground that physical fitness is key to developing a strong defender of his nation.
“When you work out you have an advantage. You develop more strength. You have to be fit to be in the service,” said Maj. Mel Torayno, the chaplain of 370 Composite Tactical Wing, PAF.
With each drop of sweat that left their bodies and every step that struck the pavement, the two nations are positive that they increased their fitness as one team at BK12.
BK12, in its 28th iteration, is an annual bilateral training exercise that builds joint training, contingency, humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities of Philippine and U.S. military members. BK12 is scheduled to end on April 27, 2012.