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Phl gears up for ‘KAMANDAG’ military exercise with US, Japan, South Korea and UK

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Philippines will continue its military exercise to improve multinational military readiness, partnership, and mutual capabilities.

The military exercise dubbed as “KAMANDAG” is a Filipino word which means “venom” in English. But the acronym in Filipino stands for “Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat,” which means “Cooperation of the Warriors of the Sea.”

Joining the Philippine military are service members from the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, and South Korea and the training exercise KAMANDAG 7 will run from November 9 to 20.

The annual exercise is led by the Philippine Marine Corps and U.S Marine Corps. The two nations have conducted KAMANDAG annually since 2016, and it is one of many exercises demonstrating the participating nations’ long-standing commitment to defense cooperation and regional security.

“When you talk about dedication to shared regional security, stability, and a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, KAMANDAG is just that. This seventh iteration is historic for many reasons,” said Col. Siverts, commanding officer of MRF-SEA.

“One reason is our continued strengthening Alliance reflected in the sheer scope of this year’s exercise. Secondly, MRF-SEA only participated in this exercise last year, and now we are privileged to be leading all U.S. Marine forces in this year’s exercise. Most importantly, we’re able to capitalize on relationships established a year ago. We’re leading and improving interoperability alongside the very same Philippine Marine Corps counterparts.”

Various training sites will be held at Batanes, Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi, and Palawan. Aproximately 950 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and 850 U.S. Marines from across I and III Marine Expeditionary Forces during the military exercise will train alongside the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force and the Republic of Korea Marines.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom Armed Forces will bring observers to KAMANDAG 7. Participation from the JGSDF, the Republic of Korea, and observers from the U.K. in this year’s iteration underscores the global importance of maritime security, demonstrating our combined commitment to maintaining stability and peace across the Indo-Pacific region.

“I am confident that KAMANDAG will not only strengthen our operational capabilities but will also foster a sense of trust and mutual understanding among our forces,” said Brig. Gen. Jimmy D. Larida, Director, Exercise Directorate Headquarters, KAMANDAG 7, PMC.During KAMANDAG 7, participating forces will conduct humanitarian aid and disaster relief training to include chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear training operations, littoral search and rescue, coastal defense training, and amphibious operations; conduct medical subject matter expert exchanges; and participate in staff integration events along the eastern and northern coasts of the Philippines.

The U.S. Marine Corps’ participation in KAMANDAG 7 will be led by the Marine Rotational Force Southeast Asia, headquartered at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.

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