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Talon Vision

A ground-air integrated training (GAIT) exercise, Talon Vision evolved as an AFP multi-service exercise where the Philippine Air Force was the lead service.

Talon Vision 03

Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron-466, Marine Aircraft Group-36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, known as "Wolfpack," completed its two-week deployment here during Exercise Talon Vision. Wolfpack was among approximately 800 U.S. Marines and Sailors of 3rd Marine Division and 1st MAW, stationed on Okinawa and Iwakuni, Japan, who participated in the two-week exercise. The Marines of Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, wrapped up a six-month deployment in the Pacific theater during Exercise Talon Vision.

While deployed here, the 1/6 Marines took full advantage of the unique training environment found in the Philippines, honing their skills through a variety of live-fire exercises and field operations. The company's main goal at Fort Magsaysay's Fernandez Hill live-fire range was to drive home the execution of squad movement, while firing on multiple targets and testing everything the Marines had trained for up to this point, according to Cpl. Joshua Cunningham, fire team leader.

After sweeping the hillsides of the Filipino landscape at Fernandez Hill and overwhelming all the simulated enemy positions with an onslaught of M16A2, M203 and Squad Automatic Weapon fire, the cease-fire smoke grenade was thrown, signaling the end of the daylight exercise. The Company A Marines, however, specialize in the night attack, using Night Vision Goggles instead of illumination rounds to gain the biggest advantage over the enemy.

Humanitarian efforts is another aspect of exercise Talon Vision. A group of 25 Marines and Sailors recently visited there to provide assistance to the Aeta tribe, an indigenous tribe forced to flee their village due to a volcano. The volunteers passed out food, clothes and toys to the 110 families living in the area.

Talon Vision 04

Talon Vision is a bilateral training exercise between U.S. and Philipine forces. Reserve Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines, currently attached to 4th Marine Regiment, provided advanced knowledge on the gun-line to their Philippine counterparts, who in turn offered their knowledge and experience from the frontline.

In addition to mortar training, the Reserve Marines maintained a defensive posture and performed patrolling tactics, a skill many Philippine Marines are familiar with from their own experiences in the Global War on Terrorism.

The Marines were instructed on the value of every living thing in the jungle as another instrument of survival. The thick jungle vegetation not only provides a precious safe-haven from the average 100-degree heat and 100 percent humidity but may also offer a source of medication and nutrients. Bamboo sticks, vines and much other plant life supply resourceful utensils in capturing and cooking the next meal of the day. The abundance of animal life from creepers, crawlers and all four-legged creatures can find themselves on the menu.

During Talon Vision 04, Medical and Dental civil assistance was available November 6-8 at no cost to the community at Santa Juliana Elementary School in Barangay Santa Juliana. U.S. Pacific Command allocated $35,000 for medications and supplies to support the project. The clinics provided care to more than 3,000 Filipino men, women, and children during their three days of operation.

Another portion of the Humanitarian Civil Assistance is an Engineering Civic Action Project that was on-going in Barangay Marulgo in Capas. Philippine and U.S. engineers, with assistance from the local government, was building a three-room school building, a community center/day care facility, a full-sized basketball court, and a playground. The forces also refurbished the existing school.

Talon Vision 05

U.S. Sailors from the Forward-deployed Amphibious Ready Group, Amphibious Squadron 11 from Sasebo, Japan, and U.S. Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, III Marine Expeditionary Force from Okinawa, Japan, began two weeks of ground, air and naval integration training Oct. 16 with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The exercises, called Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 06, are designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and continue professional relationships between the United States and Philippine Armed Forces. Approximately 5,000 U.S. and Philippine military personnel participated in the exercises. The exercises were scheduled from Oct. 16 to Nov. 1.

The 31st MEU Marines, abroad USS Juneau (LPD 10), launched 18 combat rubber raiding craft (CRRC) early the morning of Oct. 22 from the ship's well deck to begin an intensive 24-hour ship-to-shore movement of personnel and equipment to begin the amphibious landing portion of PHIBLEX 06. Teamwork and cooperation between the Marines and Sailors from Juneau and Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1 Western Pacific Detachment ensured the movement ashore was completed safely and on schedule.

By noon, Oct. 22, the Blue-Green team had moved 180 tons of equipment and supplies ashore. ACU 1 Landing Craft's 1627 and 1631 made nine runs. The offloaded materials included Marine supplies, seven-ton trucks, humvees and M198 Howitzers. Juneau and ACU 1 Sailors worked around the clock, making sure equipment and supplies necessary for the mission were being offloaded and delivered to the Marines on the beach.

Talon Vision 06

U.S. Navy, Marine, and Armed Forces of the Philipines (AFP) medical personnel, conducting Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exersie (PHIBLEX) 06, provided medical care to more than 800 local residents of Gawad Kalinga Village, Barangay Santa Juliana, Capas and Tarlac. The Medical Civil Action Project (MEDCAP) is part of the continuing Republic of Philippines and U.S. humanitarian assistance to the Philippines at the invitation of that government. The humanitarian effort is a joint effort between the AFP and U.S. servicemen not only to train and work together but also to benefit the local community.

The combined effort and teamwork of medical personnel from the U.S. Navy, Marine and AFP provided basic health checkups and medicine to children, expecting mothers, elderly and those with illness. Medical care provided to the local residents included medical screening, dental care, minor surgery, and medicine.

The final operation of PHIBLEX 06 exercise was a bilateral amphibious landing on Ternate beach. U.S. Navy, Marine, and AFP Marine forces conducted a successful ship-to-shore simultaneous sea and air landing at four beaches at Ternate as the final test of the participating force's interoperability and readiness.

Ship-to-shore movement of troops, equipment and supplies from the Forward Deployed Amphibious Ready Group to four beaches at Ternate used a variety of aircraft and amphibious landing craft. Marine aircraft used to support the movement are from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (Reinforced), the Aviation Combat Element (ACE) of the 31st MEU. Aircraft flown by the squadron include CH-46E Sea Knight, CH-53D Sea Stallion, AH-1W Cobra, UH-1N Huey, and AV-8B Harrier II.

Amphibious landing craft used during the landing included Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs), Landing Craft Utilities (LCUs), Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCACs) and Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC). Following the succesful amphibious landing, a ceremony was held at Marine Base Ternate to officially celebrate the successful conclusion of the bilateral exercise. Guest speaker for the closing ceremony Vice Adm. Ernesto De Leon, Phillippine Navy Flag Officer in Command spoke of the importance and shared values of the bilaterail exercise.

In a simulated re-supply of food, fuel and other supplies, 29 U.S. and Philippine service members jumped off a U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 Hercules aircraft with three palettes of cargo on Oct. 17. During the flight, nine U.S. Marines jumped out using static lines that auto-pull their parachutes at low-level altitudes. Ten airmen with 505th SRG also jumped using the static-line method. In order to maintain the simulated scenario, the jumpers dropped out of the Hercules at 1,250 feet for short air-to-ground time.

For the final evolution of the training, 10 Philippine force reconnaissance Marines performed free-fall jumps at 9,999 feet. It takes special certifications to be able free-fall. The maximum altitude for a free-fall jump is 30,000 feet. However, the jumpers would need oxygen to jump any higher than 10,000 feet.

Talon Vision 07

Two weeks of bilateral training and community relations projects as part of Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) FY 2007 came to a conclusion Oct. 28, as both United States and Philippine forces came together in an official closing ceremony at the Air Force City Officers Club in PAMPANGA, Republic of the Philippines. The two exercises, which began Oct. 16 and ran concurrently, partnered 5,700 U.S. and 1,300 Philippine military personnel for two weeks of training at the Philippine islands of Luzon and Palawan in order to increase interoperability between the two forces.

Of the sea-based highlights, ships of USS Essex (LHD 2) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) provided the platform for an amphibious landing, as well as visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) training, and deck landing qualifications (DLQs). USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) provided a significant medical boost to the Filipino people of Zamboanga and outlying areas by completing the delivery of five ambulances and $80,000 of medical supplies with the help of 3P (Promotion of Peace and Prosperity in the Philippines) Foundation USA and Project Handclasp.

Essex Amphibious Ready Group is the Navy's only forward-deployed ARG and serves under Commander, Task Force (CTF) 76. Task Force 76 is the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan. After a successful Counter Special Operations Forces Exercise (CSOFEX) 06, USS Stethem (DDG 63) joined the USS Essex (LHD 2)-led Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ESXARG) for Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) FY 07 off the coast of the Philippines

Essex ARG conducted split ARG operations for most of the exercises in conjunction with USS Stethem (DDG 63). Essex, the flagship of the Essex ARG, with embarked Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 265, primarily supported Talon Vision in Luzon while USS Juneau (LPD 10) and Harpers Ferry worked in the vicinity of Palawan. Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked ashore in a number of mission areas throughout the duration of the exercises. Stethem's primary focus during the exercise was to work with the Philippine ship RP Artemio Ricarte (PS 37) and members of the Philippine naval special operations group (NAVSOG). The bilateral training involved visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS), and oil platform protection drills. Stethem and Ricarte also engaged in joint seamanship and navigation exercises, including leapfrogs, a highline transfer and basic formation steaming together. On the last day of the exercise, the Philippine NAVSOG and Stethem VBSS team conducted oil platform protection training in the Philippines' Batangas Bay. The teams practiced day and night tactics while on the oil platform.

Stethem is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer that operates out of Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the Navy's only permanently forward deployed naval forces, and served with Commander, Task Force 76 during Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) FY 07. Task Force 76 is the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force and is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.

Community service projects were conducted by all three ships. Juneau Sailors went to Inagawan High School and Harpers Ferry Sailors went to Pasobolong Elementary, both in Palawan. Essex Sailors visited Gordon Heights II Elementary School in Olongapo City, near Subic Bay. All three projects gave a facelift to the schools and smiles to the kids there.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:35:52 Zulu