Hawaii Nation Guard’s Partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines showcased during Balikatan 2017
Hawaii’s Partnership with the Philippines through the National Guards State Partnership Program shows is purpose and potential during the latest Balikatan.
One of the key themes of the 2017 iteration of Balikatan the annual U.S.-Philippine military bilateral training event was Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Recovery (HA/DR).
The Hawaii National Guard’s Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Explosive (CBRNE) – Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) Search and Extraction team has been participating in Balikatan since 2011 working along side the Armed Forces of the Philippines 525th Engineering Battalion growing each others mastery of search and rescue techniques through Subject Matter Exchanges. This longstanding relationship has helped grow each forces competency in disaster recovery.
Every year both forces bring what new techniques they have learned over the past twelve months to share with each other. Once this knowledge is reviewed and discussed and the skills are then demonstrated. They then in-turn demonstrate those rescue techniques for the other AFP units in attendance. Establishing a base line skill set. All of the events are very hands on with very limited lecture. This year soldiers from the AFP’s 2nd, 7th, and 9th infantry divisions along with Sailors, Airmen and Marines from through out the AFP participated in the HA/DR search and extraction exercise at Fort Magsaysay in north of Manila. The Training site this year was an dis-used hospital site, perfect for standing in as a collapsed structure.
The closing days of the week long SMEE was followed by a media day where over seventy journalists from international and local media where invited to witness the types of HA/DR techniques that had been rehearsed during the 2017 iteration of Balikatan.