15th MEU Marines arrive in Balikatan, aboard USS Somerset and USS Harpers Ferry > U.S. Indo-Pacific Command > 2015

15th MEU Marines arrive in Balikatan, aboard USS Somerset and USS Harpers Ferry > U.S. Indo-Pacific Command > 2015

Marines and sailors assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit will board the amphibious transport dock USS Somerset (LPD 25) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) to participate in Exercise Balikatan 2024 in April. , gathered in Palawan province. twenty two.

More than 1,000 Marines and sailors boarded the Somerset Ferry and Harpers Ferry, the first to be integrated into regularly scheduled deployments for exercises in the Indo-Pacific region. The 15th MEU’s participation in Balikatan, training with Philippine Marines, strengthens bilateral response capabilities in the Philippines and helps maintain a high level of military readiness to improve mutual defense capabilities.

“Exercise Balikatan is one of the most important exercises in the Pacific, and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit is proud to participate side by side with our fellow Philippine Marines. Integration is an opportunity to continually test our capabilities with realistic training and ensure we are ready to respond collaboratively to crises and contingencies,” said U.S. Marine Corps Commander Sean. Colonel Dynan said. 15th MEU.

The 15th MEU will participate in each of four all-domain joint operations events during this year’s exercise, highlighting the combined capabilities of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force and the Philippine Marines’ 3rd Marine Brigade. Their training activities include securing critical maritime terrain in support of territorial defense, conducting simulated long-range precision attack fires, and detecting and firing surface threats with missile defense systems.

The crews of the Somerset, Harpers Ferry, and 15th MEU are part of Joint Task Force 76/3, employed by the U.S. 7th Fleet to work collaboratively with allies and partners in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific. is under the direction and control of

“Balikatan” means “to stand shoulder to shoulder” in Tagalog. The goal of bilateral military cooperation is to work “side-by-side” with the Philippine military, strengthen mutual defense capabilities, and build capacity to respond to crises and conflicts.

All questions regarding Balikatan 2024 should be directed to Captain Josephine Rios at Josephine.rios.1@us.af.mil.

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