Twenty personnel of the Tanay-based 2nd Infantry Division were given various disaster response training by the 525th Engineer Combat Battalion on Jan. 30.
“The 20 personnel underwent lectures and practical exercises on basic incident command system, hazardous material awareness, emergency medical response, rope rescue techniques, and collapsed structure search and rescue,” PA spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement Wednesday.
The 525th Engineer Combat Battalion, also known as “Mandirigtas” (a combination of “mandirigma” or warrior and “manliligtas” or savior), is the PA’s primary humanitarian assistance and disaster response unit.
The training was held at the 2nd Infantry Division headquarters in Camp General Mateo, Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal.
“The disaster response exercises are in line with Army (commander) Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr.’s thrust to enhance unit capabilities and soldiers’ individual skills,” Trinidad said.
The PA and Japan’s military forces in November 2021 conducted a five-day field training exercise on disaster response, which aimed to enhance the capabilities of the PA and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) response, such as collapse structure and water search and rescue.
The HADR coordination project is in line with the two countries’ bilateral initiative that began in 2019.
PA, USARPAC finalize plans for 2023 ‘Salaknib’ Phase 2
As this developed, the PA and US Army Pacific (USARPAC) planners commenced the three-day final planning conference for the second quarter staging of the Exercise “Salaknib” Phase 2 at the Hotel Conrad in Pasay City last Jan. 30.
PA and USARPAC are gearing up to stage a scaled-up iteration of Exercise “Salaknib” in two phases this year.
Trinidad said “Salaknib’s” first phase, which will precede Exercise “Balikatan”, is slated for the first quarter while the second phase is scheduled for the second quarter of this year.
The final planning conference brought together PA and USARPAC planners to effectively lay out the bilateral planning approach for “Salaknib” which will include around 3,000 troops from USARPAC’s 25th Infantry Division and PA’s 5th Infantry Division, 7th Infantry Division and 1st Brigade Combat Team.
“Salaknib—which means shield in Ilocano—is an annual Army-to-Army exercise geared at strengthening the interoperability of Filipino and American soldiers in a spectrum of military operations. (PNA)