During Balikatan 22, soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Marines from 3d Marine Logistics Group, and Sailors from the USS Ashland (LPD 48) conducted an unprecedented amphibious insert of a Patriot missile system in the Philippines. The training exercise was held in Aparri, Philippines on March 28, 2022 and focused on the use and operation of various military hardware, including the Landing Craft Air Cushion, PATRIOT Air Defense Missile System, Philippine Air Force Blackhawk Helicopter, Philippine Marines Amphibious Vehicle, and US Marines Helicopter Sikorsky CH53 Super Stallion Helicopter.
The exercise involved a series of complex maneuvers, including ship to shore and shore to ship operations, which required the soldiers, Marines, and Sailors to work together seamlessly in order to successfully complete the mission. The soldiers were tasked with operating the Patriot missile system, which required them to have a thorough understanding of its capabilities and limitations.
The Marines and Sailors also played a crucial role in the exercise, providing support and guidance to the soldiers as they navigated the unfamiliar terrain and equipment. The Landing Craft Air Cushion, for example, was used to transport the Patriot missile system from the USS Ashland to the shore, while the Sikorsky CH53 Super Stallion Helicopter was used to transport personnel and equipment.
The exercise also provided an opportunity for the Philippine Air Force Blackhawk Helicopter and Philippine Marines Amphibious Vehicle to showcase their capabilities and for the American soldiers to learn from their Philippine counterparts. The training emphasized small unit tactics, including reconnaissance and surveillance, movement to contact, and ambushes. The U.S. Marines shared their experience and knowledge in these areas with their Philippine counterparts, while also learning from the unique tactics and techniques used by the Philippine Marines.
Overall, the amphibious insert of the Patriot missile system during Balikatan 22 was a success, providing valuable training and experience for all involved. The exercise not only demonstrated the capabilities of the military hardware, but also the importance of teamwork, communication, and adaptability in complex and challenging environments.