WATCH: New PH amphibious assets join U.S., Japan in military drills

JC Gotinga

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WATCH: New PH amphibious assets join U.S., Japan in military drills

Lito Borras

The KAMANDAG 3 joint exercises between the Philippine and US marines marks a significant leap forward in the country's amphibious assault capability with the deployment of its brand new assets

TERNATE, Philippines – For the first time in recent history, the Philippines deployed its own brand new amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) in a joint military exercise with the US and Japan on Saturday, October 12, at Marine Base Gregorio Lim in Ternate, Cavite.

The Philippine Marine Corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines showcased 4 of its fleet of 8 AAVs in this third iteration of the Kaagapay ng Mandirigma ng Dagat (KAMANDAG 3) joint military exercises with the US. The US Marines and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force each deployed 4 AAVs, too.

The scenario was an amphibious assault by the Philippine and US marines to retake an island besieged by terrorists, while the Japanese troops delivered aid and rescued civilians.

Amphibious operations are essential in securing an archipelago like the Philippines. Filipino marines have long trained in this capability with foreign allies, particularly the US. Acquiring their own AAVs and taking them out for a spin alongside powerful traditional allies during KAMANDAG 3 marked a significant milestone for the Marine Corps.

The KAMANDAG 3 series of joint exercises runs until October 18. –

Video by Naoki Mengua

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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.