U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

 

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

Philippine, US forces train together in mock IED drills

By Staff Sgt. Lyndel Johnson | | April 13, 2012

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Armed Forces of the Philippines Air Force Staff Sgt. Michle P. Balberan, a member of 5711 Security Force Squadron, and U.S. Marine Sgt. Paul Mead, a member of Marine Wing Support Squadron 172's Quick Reaction Force, look at a fake improvised explosive device during a training evolution as part of Exercise Balikatan 2012 (BK12) on April 13, 2012 at the AFP's Western Command Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines. BK12, in its 28th iteration, is an annual bilateral training exercise between the Republic of the Philippines and U.S. military members designed to build joint planning, contingency, humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities. MWSS-172 is part of Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. BK12 officially begins April 16, 2012. (Photo illustration by Staff Sgt. Lyndel Johnson)

Armed Forces of the Philippines Air Force Staff Sgt. Michle P. Balberan, a member of 5711 Security Force Squadron, and U.S. Marine Sgt. Paul Mead, a member of Marine Wing Support Squadron 172's Quick Reaction Force, look at a fake improvised explosive device during a training evolution as part of Exercise Balikatan 2012 (BK12) on April 13, 2012 at the AFP's Western Command Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines. BK12, in its 28th iteration, is an annual bilateral training exercise between the Republic of the Philippines and U.S. military members designed to build joint planning, contingency, humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities. MWSS-172 is part of Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. BK12 officially begins April 16, 2012. (Photo illustration by Staff Sgt. Lyndel Johnson) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Lyndel Johnson)


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Armed Forces of the Philippines Air Force Staff Sgt. Mary Grace, a member of the 5711 Security Forces Squadron, provides security as explosive ordinance disposal technicians from Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 investigate a fake improvised explosive device during a training evolution as a part of Exercise Balikatan 2012 (BK12) on April 13, 2012 at the AFP's Western Command Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines. BK12, in its 28th iteration, is an annual bilateral training exercise between the Republic of the Philippines and U.S. military members designed to build joint planning, contingency, humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities. MWSS-172 is part of Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. BK12 officially begins April 16, 2012.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Air Force Staff Sgt. Mary Grace, a member of the 5711 Security Forces Squadron, provides security as explosive ordinance disposal technicians from Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 investigate a fake improvised explosive device during a training evolution as a part of Exercise Balikatan 2012 (BK12) on April 13, 2012 at the AFP's Western Command Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines. BK12, in its 28th iteration, is an annual bilateral training exercise between the Republic of the Philippines and U.S. military members designed to build joint planning, contingency, humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities. MWSS-172 is part of Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. BK12 officially begins April 16, 2012. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Lyndel Johnson)


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A fake improvised explosive device was planted in a vehicle during an evolution ran by Philippine Air Force Squadron 5711 and Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 (MWSS-172) as part of Exercise Balikatan 2012 (BK12) on April 13 at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines. BK12, in its 28th iteration, is an annual bilateral training exercise between the Republic of the Philippines and U.S. military members designed to build joint planning, contingency, humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities. MWSS-172 is part of Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. BK12 officially begins April 16, 2012.

A fake improvised explosive device was planted in a vehicle during an evolution ran by Philippine Air Force Squadron 5711 and Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 (MWSS-172) as part of Exercise Balikatan 2012 (BK12) on April 13 at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines. BK12, in its 28th iteration, is an annual bilateral training exercise between the Republic of the Philippines and U.S. military members designed to build joint planning, contingency, humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities. MWSS-172 is part of Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. BK12 officially begins April 16, 2012. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Lyndel Johnson)


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PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines -- An unidentified van stops 50 feet from the gate as all of the passengers run away in various directions. The Philippine Air Force (PAF) and U.S. Marines grip their weapons tighter as they launch into action.

This improvised explosive device drill was conducted by members of the PAF’s Squadron 5711 and U.S. Marine Security Forces from Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 (MWSS-172) on April 13, 2012 at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command Base, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines as a part of Exercise Balikatan 2012 (BK12).

Although this was a training exercise, members from both units conducted themselves as if this was a life or death situation and for a good reason. Military members from both nations rapidly intermingled and made a quick reaction force (QRF) in order to provide full security around the suspected vehicle-born IED (VBIED) and prepare for further investigation.

Once established, an explosive ordinance disposal team inspected the alleged VBIED and discarded it according to Philippine and U.S. security procedures. This drill gave Philippine and U.S. military members a chance to train together and learn skills from one another in order to strengthen their interoperability and capacity to respond to explosive device threats.

“This training makes me a better explosive ordinance disposal technician, thus giving me the ability to save lives,” said Sgt. Paul Mead, an EOD technician with MWSS-172, Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

One can never know when an attack may occur, so drills like this can be the key to survival.

“We’re training with the Filipino military, training to respond to vehicle-born IED attacks at a gate or entry control point,” said 1st Lt. Gary Arnold, an officer-in-charge at Military Police Company with MWSS-172.

This drill is just one of several bilateral field training activities both nations will participate in throughout the Republic of the Philippines during April 2012 as a part of 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.

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