SUBIC BAY, Philippines (NNS) -- The amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) and the embarked Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) commenced Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 15 in Subic Bay, Sept. 29.
PHIBLEX is an annual, bilateral training exercise conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, U.S. Navy and Marines to strengthen interoperability across a range of capabilities from disaster relief to contingency operations. This year's PHIBLEX marks the 31st iteration, and is supported by the Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group.
"The primary focus of this visit to Subic Bay is the bilateral amphibious landing exercise," said Lt. Col. Eric Malinowski, commanding officer, Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31. "This exercise gives the troops the confidence and preparation that we need to operate in a foreign environment, something new and challenging that you are not comfortable with, so that the uniqueness isn't a shock during a real situation. We are familiar with doing our jobs, but doing it in a new environment during a bilateral training evolution changes the dynamic a little bit and that is healthy."
PHIBLEX 15 is scheduled to last approximately 10 days and will take place at sea and ashore in the Philippines. The evolution will consist of four major parts including the 31st MEU Certification Exercise (CERTEX), command post exercise, a field training exercise, and humanitarian assistance operations. Each event will consist of various flight operations, live-fire exercises and beach raids utilizing Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCAC), Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV), and Combat Rubber Raiding Crafts (CRRC).
"Working with the Armed Forces of the Philippines enhances our mutual understanding in a training environment so that we are ready when we need to depend on each other," said Germantown's Commanding Officer Capt. Marvin Thompson. "For many of the crew, this is their first time in the Philippines and they are excited to work with the AFP."
Germantown is part of the Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group, commanded by Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald, and is conducting joint forces exercises in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.