Tue, 18 May 2021

PAF, US SIMCAS hold 'Balikatan' rehearsal

Philippine Information Agency
19 Apr 2021, 18:38 GMT+10

PASIG CITY, April 19 (PIA) --The Philippine Air Force (PAF), in coordination with United States armed forces counterparts, held a Simulated Close Air Support (SIMCAS) rehearsal employing its FA-50PH aircraft recently as part of the ongoing Balikatan Exercises.

"The ongoing exercise enhances the ability of both armed forces to operate together. The joint operations planning exercise which is now on its fourth day provides the opportunity for both service members to share their knowledge and experiences in crises action planning," Balikatan Exercise Director MGen Edgard Arevalo told the the PIA NCR.

"As these unfold, actual humanitarian and civic assistance operations are in full swing," Arevalo added.

The PAF training flight is in preparation for the joint SIMCAS on April 20, 2021 which will then include US Air Force plane. The exercises conducted at Col. Ernesto Ravina Air Base, Crow Valley Military Reservation, Capas, Tarlac, some 129 kilometers north of Manila.

Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) personnel, on the other hand, were part of the Joint Terminal Attack Controller/Combat Air Controller, which primarily directs the action of the combat aircraft and other offensive air operations from a forward position. The PACAF is a Major Command of the United States Air Force and is also the air component command of the United States Indo-Pacific Command.

This year's exercise focuses on enhancing interoperability of U.S.-Philippine humanitarian aid and relief operations capabilities, rapid response operations during pandemic, counter-terrorism, and subject matter expert exchanges on a wide-range of topics.

The 36th iteration of the Balikatan Exercise kicked off April 12 and will conclude on April 23. (PIA NCR)

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