PHILIPPINES – Marines and Sailors from the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) participated in Exercise KAMANDAG 3 from Oct. 8-18 in the Philippines.
KAMANDAG 3 is a Philippine-led, bilateral exercise with participation from Japan. KAMANDAG is an acronym for the Filipino phrase “Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat,” which translates to “Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea,” highlighting the partnership between the U.S. and Philippine militaries.
The Marines and Sailors of the 11th MEU’s ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, focused on small-unit combined arms training by conducting live-fire artillery ranges, live-fire light armored reconnaissance ranges, and various other assorted small-arms ranges. Elements of the 11th MEU also conducted specialized training for humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, counterterrorism, and civil affairs operations to sharpen their ability to respond across the spectrum of military and humanitarian operations.
“KAMANDAG 3 provided us a unique opportunity to integrate with the Philippine Marine Corps while conducting realistic, valuable training,” said Capt. Trevor Hall, the commanding officer of Alpha Battery, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 11th MEU. “Over the course of our nine days ashore, we participated in several subject matter expert exchanges and joint exercises, which increased our interoperability with the Philippine Marines.”
The 11th MEU consists of the command element; the aviation combat element comprised of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 163 (Reinforced); the ground combat element comprised of Battalion Landing Team 3/5; and the logistics combat element comprised of Combat Logistics Battalion 11.
“The U.S. Navy has a longstanding tradition of partnering with the Philippines and Japan,” said Capt. Kevin Lane, the commanding officer of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26). “It truly is an honor to continue that tradition and to uphold our shared goals of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The Boxer ARG/11th MEU is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies, and maintain a presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations. The ARG/MEU departed their home port of San Diego for a regularly scheduled deployment on May 1, and entered the U.S. 7th Fleet on Sept. 22 after roughly two months deployed to Central Command’s area of operations.
For additional information contact the 11th MEU Communication Strategy and Operations Officer, Capt. Jim Stenger at email@example.com or Lt. Andrew Bertucci, Amphibious Squadron FIVE Public Affairs Officer, at Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org