AFP concludes joint land, sea, air drills

Published November 23, 2021, 11:27 AM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) concluded the fifth iteration of its joint land, sea, and air exercises dubbed as “DAGIT-PA” on Monday, Nov. 22, at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Lt. Gen. Andres Centino, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), speaks during the closing ceremony of the AFP Joint Exercise (AJEX) ‘DAGIT-PA’ at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Nov. 22, 2021. (Photo: Armed Forces of the Philippines)

Lt. Gen. Andres Centino, AFP Chief of Staff, lauded the troops who participated in the AFP Joint Exercise (AJEX) DAGIT-PA despite the limitations brought about by the prevailing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

DAGIT-PA is a coined term which refers to “dagat,” “langit,” and “lupa” to represent the supremacy of the AFP in maritime, aerial, and land operations through the conduct of interoperability exercises.

“Today’s event could not be more opportune as the AFP advances on its journey towards modernization and of becoming at par with our foreign counterparts,” the AFP Chief said during the closing ceremony.

A total of 1,492 active military personnel and 92 reservists from all major services took part in this year’s drills. The event was supervised by Maj. Gen. Francisco Ariel Felicidario III, exercise director, and Rear Adm. Antonio Palces, deputy chief of staff for education and training.

The drills ran from Nov. 8 to 18 and encompassed several major events such as cyber defense exercise (CYDEX) at Camp Aguinaldo; air detection and interception viewed from Pasay City; live fire exercise and urban operations in Capiz; maritime operations in Panay; and amphibious operations with special operations in Antique.

Different assets from the Philippine Army (PA), Philippine Air Force (PAF), and Philippine Navy (PN) were deployed during the drills to test their interoperability including armored vehicles, fixed wing aircraft, attack helicopters, air ambulance aircraft, frigate, patrol ship, landing dock vessel, amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs), combat engineering equipment, and artillery guns among others.

“This is also the first time that majority of the activities for AJEX DAGIT-PA were held outside Luzon,” Centino noted.

This year’s exercise areas were held at the joint area of responsibility of the Visayas Command (VISCOM) under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Robert Dauz, particularly in the training areas of the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID).

“The AJEX-DAGIT PA is all part of the AFP’s continuous endeavor to achieve better unity of command and capitalize on the synergy of military operations,” Centino said.

“The regular conduct of joint training exercises or the conduct itself of joint operations certainly allow the AFP to maximize its array of capabilities in any given threat situation,” he continued.

“With the success of this year’s AJEX DAGIT-PA, there is no doubt that the AFP has truly achieved higher levels of competency and capability enhancement complemented by our new modern and high-tech equipment,” he concluded.