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Shaffer
11-09-05, 09:55 PM
Marines from Company G, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, currently assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, participated in their last amphibious assault training with the Philippine Marine Corps here Oct. 29.

The assault, which marked the end of bilateral training between the Marines of G Co. and the Philippine Marines’ 22nd Marine Co., 2nd Marine Battalion Landing Team, was the Philippine Marines first experience of debarking from an U.S. Navy amphibious ship on AAVs.

The landing was unique for the Philippine Marines because they usually train in a jungle environment.

“This is training we don’t usually do,” said Philippine Marine 1st Lt. Henry O. Sabijon, commanding officer of the 22nd Marine Co. “Training like this builds a great relationship between our two Marine Corps.”

The training began with 10 AAVs splashing off from the well deck of the USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) of the Forward-deployed Amphibious Ready Group, Task Force 76.

After storming the beach, the Philippine Marines provided forward security while the U.S. Marines covered the left and right flanks and setup mortar positions along the shoreline.

According to Capt. Clinton Robins, commanding officer of G Co., amphibious assault training is a valuable part of the Marine Corps arsenal.

“Amphibious assaults are the bread-and-butter of the Marine Corps and always worthwhile training, especially when we get to the opportunity to train with other countries,” said Robins. “Beach assaults like this are also important because they help us get familiar with our Navy brethren.”

After the training concluded, the Philippine Marines said goodbye to their American brothers-in-arms and thanked them for their professionalism and friendship.

“We hope that this training has helped strength the relationship between the Philippines and America,” Sabijon said to the U.S. Marines after the training ended. “Thank you all for treating us as your brothers, and may God bless you.”

The training was the culmination of Amphibious Landing Exercise 2006, a bilateral exercise with the Armed Forces of the Philippines that improves interoperability, increases readiness, and improves professional relationships between the U.S. and Philippine militaries.