MANILA – It is only through exercises like the annual “DAGIT-PA” that Filipino troops’ warfighting competencies can be guaranteed, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Jose Faustino Jr. said on Thursday.
“Continuous military education and training are indispensable to the AFP. It is through the conduct of training exercises such as AJEX DAGIT-PA (AFP Joint Exercise “Dagat-Langit-Lupa) that we can truly guarantee our troops’ competencies and capabilities are enhanced and optimized in order for them to promptly respond to a wide spectrum of combat and non-combat requirements,” Faustino said during the opening of the exercises at the Visayas Command Headquarters in Cebu City.
“DAGIT-PA” refers to the annual unilateral maneuver that seeks to further enhance its land, air, and maritime assets in joint interoperability operations.
Faustino was joined by Visayas Command head, Maj. Gen. Robert Dauz, and AFP Education Training and Doctrine Command deputy commander, Commodore Reginald B. Rapanan, who represented AFPETDC chief Maj. Gen. Ariel Felicidario III, this year’s exercise director.
Senior officers from the different participating units joined in the blended opening ceremony through teleconferencing.
“AJEX DAGIT-PA integrates our Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine, and Special Operations Forces including the Reserve Force to elevate our operational effectiveness and propel forward our skills and competencies across all mission areas,” Felicidario said.
Most of this year’s training activities will be held from November 4 to 18 in the areas of Visayas Command, and the AFP general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
Among major events are air detection and interception, live-fire exercise, urban, maritime amphibious operations, and cyber defense exercise.
Around 1,533 active personnel and 71 reservists will participate in drills that will focus on territorial defense, internal security, and cyber defense operations.
Joining the events are Philippine Army’s light armored vehicles, and howitzers; the Navy’s frigate, patrol ship, landing dock, naval helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft; the Air Forces’ FA-50PH, SF-260, Hermes 900, and Black Hawk choppers; and Marines’ amphibious assault vehicles, and M-35 and KM-450 trucks.
All face-to-face activities during AJEX DAGIT-PA will be carried out with strict adherence to health protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Participants will undergo testing and shall be authorized by medical professionals before the start of the training. (PNA)