PHL, US Special OperationsForces cap military exercise


THE Philippine Army’s First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR) and the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) of the US Army capped over the weekend Exercise SOCPAC Piston (ESP) 23-2 at Camp Pablo Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan.

ESP, formerly called Exercise Balance Piston, is an annual bilateral exercise that focuses on cross-training and bolstering the interoperability of Philippine Army Special Operations Forces and US Special Operations Command Pacific.

A total of 25 personnel from the 21st Scout Ranger (SR) Company, SR School, and Scout Sniper Platoon of the FSRR and their counterparts from the Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 1316, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), US Army trained side- by-side in sniper operations and target interdiction in jungle and urban environments.

The ESP was just among the series of military training between Filipino and American troops, which included the Balikatan, which will start next month and will be joined by more than 17,000 soldiers.

Meanwhile, Army troops and their counterparts from the US Army Pacific fired the AT-4 84mm anti-tank weapon during the weekend as part of the ongoing Exercise Salaknib in Nueva Ecija.

The live fire exercise marked the first time the Philippine Army and US Army Pacific soldiers used the anti-tank weapon in a combined training scenario.

The AT-4 84mm anti-tank is a shoulder-borne weapon used by frontline troops to hit targets such as light tanks and armored personnel carriers that are within the line of sight.

Army spokesman Col. Xerxes Trinidad said the exercise provided an opportunity for Philippine Army soldiers to receive professional development and training on the use of the effective anti-tank weapons system.

Salaknib, which means shield in Ilocano, is an annual combined exercise geared at bolstering interoperability between the Philippine Army and the US Army Pacific.

Its first phase will conclude on April 4, 2023 while its second phase is scheduled for the third quarter of 2023.