ON January 27, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps began training with the Armed Forces of the Philippines as part of Marine Exercise (MAREX) 2022 to further the maritime security capabilities of the U.S. and the Philippines.
During MAREX 22, the U.S. and the Philippines will conduct maritime operations training to boost their joint ability to enhance mutual defense capabilities and respond to natural disasters. Due to the pandemic, the forces will minimize contact throughout the exercise and implement protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“We appreciate this opportunity to strengthen our enduring alliance with the Philippines in the Indo-Pacific region through combined amphibious operations,” said Capt. Karry DeWayne Sanders, commodore of Amphibious Squadron One. “Our shared focus of regional security, stability, and prosperity in the Pacific will continue to enhance our partner nation’s capability as it has for the last seven decades.”
Among the events for this year’s MAREX, which will last until February 2, are amphibious assault coordination and execution, subject matter expert exchanges, and integrated maritime operations such as search and seizure operations and tactical maneuvering.
“Our goal is to successfully integrate our forces during planning and execution to conduct a full-scale, expeditionary amphibious operation, side-by-side with our Filipino partners,” said Col. James Lively, Commanding Officer, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
“MAREX is joined by our foreign counterpart and our major ally, the United States Marine Corps, that has long been training with us and sharing with us the duty to preserve regional peace and security,” said Maj. Gen. Ariel Caculitan, commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps.
U.S. maritime assets participating in the exercise include the ships of the Essex (ESX) Amphibious Ready Group comprised of USS Essex (LHD 2), USS Portland (LPD 27), and USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) with the embarked forces of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to include Battalion Landing Team 1/1, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 165 (Reinforced), Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 214, and Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 11. Together, these units form a robust team to work alongside their Philippine Navy and Marine Corps counterparts.