AFP holds airfield retake, urban warfare exercises

by Philippine News Agency| September 24, 2019

MANILA — Army, Air Force, and Navy units on Monday conducted airfield retake and military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) exercises in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija as part of the ongoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s Joint Exercise DAGIT-PA 03-2019.

Capt. Rhyan Batchar, DAGIT-PA public affairs office chief, said the mission of the scenario-based exercise is to retake the Fort Magsaysay airfield and other encampments “seized” by enemy forces and destroy their command and control and logistics facility in the area.

DAGIT-PA stands for “Dagat-Langit-Lupa” and is an AFP-wide exercise aimed at enhancing interoperability during joint operations of the Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force, and Philippine Army.It is geared to level up existing exercises by integrating the AFP’s Special Operations Forces, Cyber Group, and Reservists.

Around 1,500 soldiers, including reservists, are participating in the ongoing joint exercise that aims to develop joint sea, air and land operations. It was launched on September 16 and will end on September 27.

Special Operations Forces conducted military free fall maneuvers from PAF UH-1H helicopters and conducted air assault following intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations.

Meanwhile, a platoon of Army reservists also took part in the activity showing their capability to be deployed in various operations such as territorial defense, counter-insurgency, and humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief among others.

“The airfield retake exercise allows our forces to gain significant knowledge and develop special training techniques in joint air-to-land operations. This will also prepare us for any untoward incidents and potential enemy incursion in the future,” said Commodore Adeluis Bordado, DAGIT-PA exercise director and AFP Education Training and Doctrine Command head.

After the airfield retake, joint ground forces operated to conduct MOUT at the Mega Drug Rehab Facility in Fort Magsaysay. This included CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive), combat engineering, explosive ordnance disposal, and K-9 teams.

“The MOUT focused on urban close combat, search and breach, joint fires, and airspace operations. This exercise was an opportunity to train our troops in dealing with urban terrorism utilizing not only modern equipment but testing how effective our combat schemes are,” Bordado said.

Among other activities under the joint exercise were the air/maritime interdiction operation in Palawan, amphibious landing in Zambales, and combined arms live-fire exercise in Tarlac. These events focus on capabilities development in maritime security, military operations in urban terrain, and amphibious operations. (PNA)

By Priam Nepomuceno, September 24, 2019