28 April 2023
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has completed its deployment in support of Exercise Balikatan 2023 in the Philippines.
Balikatan is an annual training exercise conducted between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and United States military forces designed to enhance interoperability and support AFP’s transition from an internal security to a territorial defence force.
A contingent of approximately 100 ADF personnel participated in multiple complex scenarios throughout the Philippines, including field training and live fire activities from 10-28 April.
The contingent included approximately 50 personnel currently deployed to the Philippines as part of the Joint Australian Training Team – Philippines.
The training team deployed to the Philippines in January as part of Australia’s Enhanced Defence Cooperation Program with the Philippines and has delivered bespoke training including tactical lessons in combat shooting, urban clearance, first aid and explosive breaching drills.
Australia has a longstanding relationship with the Philippines and the United States dating back to the Second World War that has contributed to regional security and stability, and has participated in Exercise Balikatan since 2014.
Quotes attributable to Deputy Chief of Joint Operations, Air Vice-Marshal Michael Kitcher:
“Routine exercises with Australia’s military partners strengthen our ability to meet shared regional challenges.”
“The Australian Defence Force was proud to return as an active participant to Exercise Balikatan in 2023. This was a significant activity that gave our people the opportunity to work closely with our partners, increase our interoperability and deepen people-to-people links to enhance our defence cooperation.”
“By training together, our forces can build upon shared tactics, techniques and procedures that enhance readiness and response capabilities during real world challenges.”