Philippine Bilateral Exercises, or "Phiblex"
The Philippines and the United States launched an annual military exercise in the Western Sea [aka South China Sea] September 29, 2014, near waters where China is engaged in bitter territorial disputes with its neighbors. Around 5,000 sailors and Marines from both countries began 11-days of maritime maneuvers. The Philippine Bilateral Exercises, or "Phiblex" is designed to test the readiness of the two allies to respond to emergencies of any kind. The two countries practiced boat raids, beach landings, live fire exercises and armored maneuvers near the Spratly islands and Scarborough Shoal, where China has been involved in a string of tense confrontations with rival claimants. Portions of the resource-rich Spratlys are also claimed by Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.
PHIBLEX 14 was designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and enhance the ability to respond to natural disasters or other regional contingencies. PHIBLEX also enhanced local infrastructure and quality of life and build upon vibrant professional and personal relationships between Philippine and U.S. Marines. The bilateral Philippine-U.S. Marine Corps training, consisting of a staff planning exercise, field training exercises and humanitarian and civic assistance projects, sustains and reinforces the foundation and framework for a bilateral force to respond rapidly and effectively to regional humanitarian crises.
In 2012 the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group participated in Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). PHIBLEX is an annual bilateral exercise held in conduction with the AFP and is designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and develop professional and personal relationships between U.S. and Philippine forces.
The term "Phiblex" is ambiguous, as it also references Amphibious Landing Exercise. The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group participated in the bilateral Spanish Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) in 2011.
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