US Army Pacific Soldiers commenced the military exercises in the Philippines known as the Salaknib 2022 with the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the Philippine Army. The opening of the exercises was on March 5 at Fort Magsaysay, Philippines.

Salaknib is an annual bilateral military exercise led by the Philippine Army and sponsored by the US Army Pacific. It aims to strengthen the interoperability and capacity of the two armies over a wide array of military operations. In accordance with the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement, these types of exercises have been done to strengthen ties between the Philippines and the United States. These two countries share a large military history with one another.

Deputy Commanding General Maj. Gen Matthew W. McFarlane of the US Army Pacific and Exercise Director Brig. Gen. Alvin B. Flores from the Philippine Army led the ceremonial rites. Around 1,100 US troops alongside their Philippine Army peers are scheduled to take part in Salaknib 2022, which lasts from March 5 to 24 at Colonel Ernesto Rabina Air Base and Fort Magsaysay.

“The United States just published an Indo-Pacific strategy,” said McFarlane. “Two key aspects of that strategy are to build connections in the region and to bolster security in pursuit of a free and open Pacific. This exercise is a demonstration not only to each other but to all those around the world with inclinations of not abiding by a free and open Pacific.”