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140925-N-LP801-004 OURA-WAN, Okinawa (Sept. 25, 2014) – The amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) conducts well deck operations off the coast of Blue Beach, Okinawa. Germantown is part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (#PELARG14) and is conducting joint forces exercises in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raul Moreno Jr./Released)
USS Germantown Departs Subic Bay for PHIBLEX 33

SUBIC BAY, Republic of the Philippines -- The Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42), with embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), kicked off Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 33 in Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, on Oct. 6.

PHIBLEX 33 is an annual U.S.-Philippine military bilateral exercise that combines amphibious landings and live-fire training with humanitarian civic assistance efforts to strengthen interoperability and working relationships.

“Our primary goal during this exercise is the professional execution of the bilateral amphibious landing exercise,” said Cmdr. Severn Stevens, commanding officer of Germantown. “Exercises like these not only help us better understand the environment we operate in but also teach us more about joint military operations between our two great nations.”

PHIBLEX 33 is divided into three major events; Staff Exercise (STAFFEX), Field Training Exercise (FTX), and Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA).

The armed forces of the Philippines, Philippine marine corps, and 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade will participate in this year’s amphibious exercise.

Aside from Germantown, the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20) will also be participating in this year’s exercise.

Germantown, attached to Expeditionary Strike Group 7, is underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

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