By Francis Wakefield
The Assistant Exercise Director of Balikatan 35-2019 (BK35-2019), Major General Elvin B. Velasco visited the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Northern Luzon Command (AFP-NoLCom) on Monday, March 11, 2019, to ensure the successful planning and execution of the upcoming Balikatan Exercises which is scheduled from April 1 to 12, 2019.
The biggest annual bilateral exercise between the United States of America (USA) and the Philippines known as “BALIKATAN” is now undergoing preparations for its 35th iteration which aims to strengthen the bilateral alliance of both countries and their capabilities to address non-traditional security challenges, and further sustain PH-US bilateral alliance.
The AFP Northern Luzon Command will exercise command, control and supervision in implementing rules and regulations for visiting forces as well as monitor all BK35-2019 training events which will be conducted on its area of responsibility.
Major Erickson C. Bulosan, the Public Information Office Chief of NoLCom, said several activities are included in this year’s Balikatan which include the Staff Exercise (STAFFEX), Joint Inter-Operability Event (JIOE), Combined Inter-Operability Event (CIOE) and the Humanitarian and Civic Assistance (HCA).
In a statement, Bulosan said the AFP aims to strengthen the long-standing relationship between the PHL-US through exercises and operational cooperation for mutual benefit of involved forces.
They will also ensure the safe and successful conduct of PH-US Balikatan 35-2019, together and in coordination with all stakeholders in- different sites within the Northern Luzon Command area of responsibility.