New Japanese marines train with US, Filipino troops in Philippine Sea
U.S. Marines and sailors aboard the dock landing ship USS Ashland trained for the first time with Japan’s new Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade during recent Kamandag drills in the Philippine Sea.
Kamandag — short for “Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat” or “Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea” — is traditionally a bilateral exercise between U.S. and Philippine troops. This year, the Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces joined the humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief drills, which began Oct. 2 and wrap up later this week.
U.S forces were led by the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade commanded by Brig. Gen. Chris McPhillips.
“We really tried to help the Japanese … build the ARDB on a marine-to-marine level and a service-to-service level,” he told Stars and Stripes via telephone Tuesday from the Philippines. “Our goal was to allow them to operate from U.S. ships and learn how amphibious operations are conducted. Specifically, the mechanics of getting [amphibious] vehicles on and off of ships.”
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